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   Cruise Travel - Cruise News

Cruise Club is a free service, and when you join, you will begin receiving weekly updates including the latest cruise news and cruise specialsWelcome to this week's edition of Cruise News, the best place on the Web to find up-to-date information about cruises. To automatically receive Cruise News via email each week, join our Cruise Club.

For up to the minute news, stop by Cruise Talk anytime to post a message or find out what your fellow passengers and industry insiders are saying about a particular ship, cruise line or destination.


Cruise News - June 27, 2022

Viking Marks Float Out of Newest Ocean Ship
Viking today announced its newest ocean ship — the 930-guest Viking Saturn - was "floated out," marking a major construction milestone and the first time the ship has touched water. Scheduled to debut in April 2023, the Viking Saturn will spend her maiden season sailing itineraries in the Mediterranean and in Northern Europe.

"It is always a proud day when a new Viking ship meets water for the first time and moves one step closer to joining her sister ships in our fleet," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "Together with Fincantieri, we have built the world's most elegant ocean vessels—and we look forward to welcoming our first guests on board the Viking Saturn when she is delivered next spring."

The traditional float out ceremony took place at Fincantieri's Ancona shipyard and is significant because it denotes a ship moving into its final stage of construction. The float out of the Viking Saturn began at approximately 11:00 a.m. local time when the Viking team cut a cord that signalled water to flow into the ship's building dock. Following a two-day process that will set the Viking Saturn afloat, she will then be moved to a nearby outfitting dock for final construction and interior build-out.

Viking Saturn

Viking's ocean vessels have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, with 465 staterooms that can host 930 guests. The Viking Saturn will join the award-winning fleet of identical sister ships, which includes Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Orion, Viking Jupiter, Viking Venus and Viking Mars . The Viking Neptune will be delivered in late 2022.

Seabourn Takes Delivery of Seabourn Venture
Seabourn took delivery of its first expedition ship, Seabourn Venture, today during an official handover maritime ceremony at the T. Mariotti shipyard in Genoa, Italy. Seabourn Venture is the first of the line's two purpose-built, ultra-luxury expedition ships and the newest expedition ship in the industry.

"Today is so incredibly special and important as we take ownership of our first ultra-luxury expedition ship and welcome Seabourn Venture to the Seabourn family," said Seabourn President Josh Leibowitz. "The Mariotti team has done a wonderful job in the building of the ship and bringing Adam Tihany's stunning design vision to life. Seabourn Venture will raise the bar in ultra-luxury expedition travel, and we look forward to introducing her to the world as she sets sail to explore remote destinations from the polar regions in the Arctic to the southernmost continent of Antarctica."

"Someone well known in the cruise industry said, 'She is not another expedition ship or a luxury cruise ship. She is #SeabournVenture and when she begins sailing next month, she will be the world's finest luxury expedition ship.' I totally agree with him," said Marco Ghiglione, Managing Director of T. Mariotti. "Seabourn Venture is the fairest one of all, ice class PC6 certified to call polar routes. Since we started building Seabourn Venture, the world has literally changed before our eyes, requiring unexpected efforts. The great dedication and passion of the team made by T. Mariotti and subcontractors with Seabourn have been the keys to success," he added.

Seabourn Venture has been designed and built for diverse environments to PC6 Polar Class standards and will include a plethora of modern hardware and technology that will extend the ship's global deployment and capabilities. The ship will provide an exceptional luxury small-ship experience with the addition of world-class equipment that allows the line to offer its widest range of expedition activities led by an expert 26-person team of scientists, scholars, naturalists, and more. The ship will offer complimentary Seabourn Expedition amenities such as Zodiac cruises, hikes, nature walks, scuba diving, and snorkeling, as well as additional curated complimentary excursions. In addition, the ship will offer optional shore excursions and optional Seabourn Expeditions with kayaking and two custom-built submersibles at select destinations. These experiences will provide close-up views of wildlife and natural scenery, as well as unforgettable intimacy with the underwater wonders of the ocean.

Seabourn Venture features 132 luxurious oceanfront veranda suites and will take travelers to some of the most awe-inspiring places in the world, some of which are only accessed by ship.

Holland America Line Adds Second Commemorative 150th Anniversary Transatlantic Crossing
As its 150th anniversary approaches April 18, 2023, Holland America Line is adding a second commemorative transatlantic crossing aboard Rotterdam to the schedule of celebratory events. Departing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on April 3, 2023, the 16-night itinerary sails to Rotterdam, the Netherlands, retracing in reverse the company's first voyage.

From Fort Lauderdale, the ship heads to New York City and makes a rare overnight call, giving guests extra time to experience the attractions that make this vibrant city come to life, including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Empire State Building, Broadway and more. Rotterdam will then spend eight leisurely days at sea crossing the Atlantic Ocean, calling at Plymouth and Dover (London), England, before arriving April 18 — Holland America Line's 150th anniversary — at Rotterdam for an overnight full of festivities.

"As we got deeper into planning the events surrounding our 150th, we knew that the best place to celebrate the date of our founding was in the city of Rotterdam where it all started," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "These voyages that mark our first departure and our anniversary are going to be incredibly memorable as we retrace our first sailing from the 1870s, but on a modern, luxury cruise ship. We anticipate the April cruise to be as popular as the October sailing."

To kick off a season of celebrations, Holland America Line announced the first special 150th anniversary crossing that will depart Rotterdam Oct. 15, 2022, exactly 150 years to the date of the departure of Rotterdam I's maiden voyage. The crossing will recreate that first sailing, going from Rotterdam to New York, with calls at Plymouth and Dover, then on to Fort Lauderdale. The ship will stay overnight in New York for special celebrations.

To accommodate the new April 3 departure three voyages were cancelled, and all guests and their travel advisors were notified. Bookings for the new eastbound transatlantic crossing will open to the public July 14, 2022.

Disney Cruise Line Honors Make-A-Wish Children as Godchildren of the Disney Wish
Disney Cruise Line announced today that all Make-A-Wish children, including past, present and future wish recipients, will be honored as godchildren of the Disney Wish, which sets sail this summer from Port Canaveral, Florida. Disney Cruise Line also continues to support the transformative work that wish-granting organizations do every day through newly announced initiatives which include an exclusive merchandise collection and the donation of a stateroom aboard a sailing of the Disney Wish.

Redefining the longstanding maritime tradition of appointing a ship "godmother," this is the first time in Disney Cruise Line history that children are being recognized in this prestigious role which symbolically bestows good fortune on the vessel and its travelers.

The godchildren of this unique ship of wishes will join the magical group of godmothers for the Disney Cruise Line fleet including Patty Disney, Tinkerbell, Jennifer Hudson and Mariah Carey.

"Make-A-Wish children and their families are brave, determined, resilient, and some of the most inspirational people you could ever meet," said Bob Chapek, chief executive officer, The Walt Disney Company. "Wishing is a transformative experience that brings hope and joy, and it is our privilege to proudly recognize children who strive to overcome challenges as our Disney Wish godchildren. Working with Make-A-Wish to support children with critical illnesses and making magic when it is needed most will always be a priority for The Walt Disney Company."

During the Disney Wish christening ceremony, Make-A-Wish children will recite the blessing for the newest ship, evoking the spirit of optimism The Walt Disney Company is known for. The event will be an unforgettable celebration of enchantment that will showcase the innovative new ship and celebrate Make-A-Wish as a key part of making wishes come true aboard all Disney Cruise Line ships.

Since 1980, Disney and Make-A-Wish have helped grant life-changing wishes for more than 145,000 children with critical illnesses around the world. Historically, one out of every two wishes granted in the U.S. through Make-A-Wish has been a Disney wish, with many of these wishes involving visits to global Disney destinations and sailings with Disney Cruise Line.

"The selection of Make-A-Wish children as the godchildren of the Disney Wish is another example of how Disney and Make-A-Wish continue to find innovative ways to bring joy to the lives of wish kids and their families," said Richard K. Davis, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. "We are honored to partner with The Walt Disney Company and we look forward to granting countless more wishes together."

In celebration of the Disney Wish and the incredible power of wishes, Disney Cruise Line has worked with Make-A-Wish to create an exclusive line of merchandise that includes a Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse plush, ear headband, trading pin, spirit jersey and tumbler.

Disney will donate 10% of the purchase price from the sale of every item in the Disney Wish Limited Edition Collection now through July 18, 2023, to Make-A-Wish to grant even more life-changing wishes. The full Disney Wish Limited Edition Collection is available aboard the Disney Wish, and select items are available on shopDisney.com beginning July 18, 2022.

Disney Cruise Line also donated a stateroom aboard a sailing of the Disney Wish, an initiative that raised more than $260,000. Proceeds will benefit Make-A-Wish and Give Kids The World Village, a nonprofit resort in Central Florida that provides children with critical illnesses and their families from around the world with magical week-long wish vacations at no cost.

It's Official! Princess Cruises Only Line to Offer Authentic Gelato Experience at Sea
With the start of summer, scooping up one of Italy's most famous desserts from Gelato onboard Discovery Princess, Enchanted Princess and Sky Princess just got a little sweeter. The Princess Cruises gelato shops have been designated as Ospitalità Italiana, and are the first and only locations to offer an authentic Italian gelato experience outside of Italy.

The prestigious Ospitalità Italiana designation is issued by the Italian Chamber of Commerce committee, an organization of the Italian government, and confirms that every step of the gelato-making process meets or exceeds a strict set of standards as approved by official Italian auditors and experts, who review the process on a yearly basis. Only gelato shops that attain outstanding quality status are awarded the official Ospitalita` Italiana certification.

Princess Cruises handcrafts its fresh gelato with Italian-certified ingredients and equipment each day in the pastry kitchens onboard the cruise line's three newest ships – Discovery Princess, Enchanted Princess and Sky Princess. Corporate pastry chef Eric Le Rouzic trained with the best Italian chefs at the Gelato Carpigiani University in Bologna and the Gelato Comprital Atheneum in Milano to master the art of making this heaven in a bowl. Princess uses top-of-line gelato machines by renowned manufacturer Carpigiani and the Gelato display cases were produced in Italy by expert craftsmen.

"The 'Ospitalità Italiana' is a tremendous extension of our Italian heritage and gives us the opportunity to immerse our guests into the unique Italian culture found throughout Italy in our very own piazza," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "The designation also recognizes the incredible dedication of our pastry chefs and their passion to offer truly authentic experiences and the very best ingredients to our guests."

According to legend, the recipe for Gelato was popularized when architect Bernardo Buontalenti was asked to create a special confection for a member of the Medici noble family in the 16th century. Buontalenti mixed milk, eggs, sugar and extracts in a special machine surrounded by ice and salt, and egg cream-based gelato was born.

While it's creamy, gelato has less butter fat and fewer calories. The authentic Italian ingredients are combined with Princess' freshly sourced fruit and is made each day with milk, not requiring the extra fat from cream that is needed in ice cream for a longer shelf life. As a result, a scoop of gelato is 80-100 calories and the sorbet or "fruit gelato" has no fat and is only 50-60 calories, with no dairy.

Princess guests can choose from a variety of flavors – favorites like fior di latte (vanilla) and cioccolato (chocolate), to tiramisu, Nutella and caramello salato (salted carmel). The menu even offers dairy-free, fat-free sorbets and sugar-free gelato. Guests can enjoy them by themselves, with toppings or in such tasty combinations as "affogato" (with liqueur) or "coppe," including indulgent creations like nutellone (Nutella gelato, Nutella and whipped cream) or amaretto and peaches (amaretto gelato, fresh sliced peaches and meringue drops).

Carnival Provides Second Quarter 2022 Business Update
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL;NYSE: CUK) provides second quarter 2022 business update.

• U.S. GAAP net loss of $1.8 billion and adjusted net loss of $1.9 billion for the second quarter of 2022.

• Cash from operations turned positive in the second quarter of 2022.

• Second quarter 2022 ended with $7.5 billion of liquidity, including cash, short-term investments and borrowings available under the company's revolving credit facility.

• Revenue increased by nearly 50% in the second quarter of 2022 compared to first quarter 2022, reflecting continued sequential improvement. For the cruise segments, revenue per passenger cruise day ("PCD") for the second quarter of 2022 decreased slightly compared to a strong 2019.

• Occupancy in the second quarter of 2022 was 69%, an increase from 54% in the prior quarter.

• Customer deposits increased $1.4 billion to $5.1 billion as of May 31, 2022 from $3.7 billion as of February 28, 2022.

• As of June 24, 2022, 91% of the company's capacity is in guest cruise operation.

• Booking volumes for all future sailings during the second quarter of 2022 were nearly double the booking volumes during the first quarter of 2022; the company notes these were its best quarterly booking volumes since the beginning of the pandemic.

As previously announced, effective August 1st, Arnold Donald, President and CEO, is being appointed Vice Chair of the Boards of Directors. Josh Weinstein, currently Chief Operations Officer for the company, will assume the role of President and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc. At that time, Weinstein will also assume the role of Chief Climate Officer and become a Director on the Boards of Directors. A 20-year veteran of Carnival Corporation & plc, Weinstein has a long history of success in critical senior-level roles in the company. In his most recent assignment for the past two years as Carnival Corporation & plc's Chief Operations Officer, Weinstein oversaw several major operational functions including global maritime, global ports and destinations, global sourcing, global IT and global internal audit. During this time, he also oversaw Carnival UK, the operating company for P&O Cruises (UK) and Cunard, which he previously managed directly for three years as president. Prior to his role with Carnival UK, Weinstein was treasurer for the company for 10 years and an attorney in the corporate legal department for five years.

Carnival Corporation & plc President and CEO Arnold Donald noted, "With cash from operations turning positive and the company heading in the right direction, now is the time to transition leadership to the next generation. Josh Weinstein has the skill set ideally suited to take this company forward, including strong operating experience and in-depth industry knowledge cultivated over the past two decades. I am confident our positive momentum will continue under Josh's leadership and I remain confident in the long-term future of our company."

Carnival Corporation & plc's next President and CEO Josh Weinstein noted, "I am honored to lead this company as we push forward with a relentless long-term focus on driving revenue and returns to improve our balance sheet, while ensuring each brand provides an authentic cruise experience that resonates with their unique guest base, delivering value for our shareholders and our other many stakeholders."

Weinstein added, "It is truly humbling to support our exceptionally talented team—150,000 strong ship and shore—in this effort. They've accomplished so much during our restart, with incredible determination, perseverance and integrity. This gives me tremendous confidence and optimism about our future."

Second Quarter 2022 Results and Statistical Information

• Revenue increased by nearly 50% in the second quarter of 2022 compared to first quarter 2022, reflecting continued sequential improvement. For the cruise segments, revenue per PCD for the second quarter of 2022 decreased slightly compared to a strong 2019.

• Onboard and other revenue per PCD for the second quarter of 2022 increased significantly compared to a strong 2019.

• Occupancy in the second quarter of 2022 was 69%, an increase from 54% in the prior quarter.

• Available lower berth days ("ALBD") for the second quarter of 2022 were 16.7 million, which represents 74% of total fleet capacity, increasing from 60% in the first quarter of 2022.

• Adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter of 2022 was $(0.9) billion, an improvement over the first quarter of 2022.

• Total customer deposits increased $1.4 billion to $5.1 billion as of May 31, 2022 from $3.7 billion as of February 28, 2022.

• Cash from operations turned positive in April and was positive for the second quarter of 2022.

During the second quarter of 2022, the company issued $1.0 billion aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes due 2030, intended to refinance various 2023 debt maturities and invested $0.5 billion in capital expenditures. In addition, the company repaid $0.2 billion of debt principal and incurred $0.4 billion of interest expense, net during the quarter. The company ended the second quarter of 2022 with $7.5 billion of liquidity, including cash, short-term investments and borrowings available under the revolving credit facility.

Resumption of Guest Cruise Operations

Donald noted, "We are aggressively, yet thoughtfully, ramping up to full operations with over 90 percent of the fleet now in service. We are driving occupancy higher, while at the same time significantly increasing available capacity, resulting in a nearly 50 percent sequential improvement in revenue in the second quarter, despite facing constantly changing and far more restrictive protocols than broader society and travel at large."

Donald added, "Carnival Cruise Line, our largest brand, achieved consistently positive adjusted EBITDA beginning in March. Carnival Cruise Line also became our first brand to sail its entire fleet in May and is expecting occupancy to approach 110 percent during our third quarter."

As of June 24, 2022, 91% of the company's capacity is in guest cruise operation as part of its ongoing return to service. Five of the company's nine brands now have their entire fleet back in guest cruise operations, including Carnival Cruise Line, which became the first major cruise line in the U.S. to celebrate its entire fleet entering service. The company's enhanced COVID-19 protocols have helped it become among the safest forms of socializing and travel, with far lower incidence rates than on land.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 10.55 + 9.90
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 40.33 + 8.12%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 12.87 + 12.60%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When the great liners of yesterday were competing for the Blue Ribband (fastest Atlantic crossing) their speed was measured between an Eastern and Western end-point. Name the traditional Eastern and Western end-points?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which Holland America ship was the central character in the the most successful large-scale marine rescue in peacetime history and what did she do to become a "star"?

Answer - It was the Prinsendam. Engine room caught fire on October 4, 1980 and all 529 people on board were rescured. The ship finally sank on October 11th. courtesy of R. F. Weemer, Netherlands


Cruise News - June 20, 2022

A&K Travel Group Acquires Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony
A&K Travel Group Ltd., the pioneering travel company owned by Geoffrey Kent and Heritage (the industrial holding company chaired by Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio), has acquired the luxury cruise vessels Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony.

The two ships will resume service in 2023 after undergoing extensive refurbishment and will operate under the award-winning "Crystal Cruises" brand that has also been acquired by A&K Travel Group Ltd.

"I am thrilled to start this new chapter and to be back in an industry that has always had, and always will have a special place in my heart. Thirty-five years ago, my family acquired control of Sitmar Cruises, building three of the first purpose-built cruise ships, and 30 years ago my family pioneered a new way of cruising. Our goal was to deliver the best experience, pampering guests from all over the world with around-the-clock butler service and extraordinary culinary experiences. Selling the cruise business that belonged to my family for a quarter of a century was a difficult decision, as I knew I would miss this industry immensely. Therefore, when the opportunity arose to acquire Crystal Cruises, I did not think about it twice. Having next to me my incredible friend and inspiring leader Geoffrey Kent makes this venture even more enjoyable," said Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio, Co-Chairman of A&K Travel Group Ltd., Crystal Cruises and Abercrombie & Kent.

"Even though it seems like yesterday, 30 years have passed since the Lefebvre family and I had our first ship together...Manfredi and I have been best friends and business associates ever since. The idea of combining the unparalleled onboard service that Crystal Cruises is known for, with the extraordinary tailor-made experiences Abercrombie & Kent has been successfully providing for our guests for the past 60 years, fills me with excitement, enthusiasm and pride," added Geoffrey Kent, Co-Chairman of A&K Travel Group Ltd. and Crystal Cruises, and Founder, Co-Chairman and CEO of Abercrombie & Kent.

Crystal Cruises and Abercrombie & Kent will report to Cristina Levis, CEO of A&K Travel Group Ltd., who commented: "My return to luxury cruising after five years brings back so many emotions. It is an immense privilege to serve these two incredible brands that in the past decades have disrupted the travel industry numerous times. Manfredi, Geoffrey and I look forward to welcoming past Crystal and Abercrombie & Kent guests onboard, as well as those seeking rewarding luxury experiences."

"The acquisition of Crystal has been extremely challenging but the satisfaction of having this jewel in our family is the best payoff for all the hard work and efforts of the A&K team. Ad maiora Crystal Cruises!"

A&K Travel Group Ltd. has partnered with V.Ships Leisure, the world's leading cruise ship manager, based in Monaco. With their unique experience, global scale and passionate team, V.Ships Leisure was the natural choice.

Carnival Cruise Line to Bring Costa Venezia to the U.S. In 2023, Costa Firenze in 2024
Carnival Cruise Line – proudly known as America’s cruise line – is teaming up with Costa Cruises – Italy’s favorite cruise line – creating a new concept for Carnival’s North American guests when COSTA by CARNIVAL debuts in the spring of 2023 and Costa Venezia joins the Carnival fleet sailing from New York. Costa Venezia will be followed by Costa Firenze arriving in the spring of 2024 to sail from Long Beach.

Carnival will operate the ships, which will marry the great service, food and entertainment that Carnival’s guests enjoy with Costa’s Italian design features. “Costa Venezia and Costa Firenze will bring Carnival’s guests the ambiance and beauty of Italy,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We’re going to invite our guests to Choose Fun with Carnival, Italian Style!”

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to operate two additional beautiful Vista class ships in the U.S. and bring a unique experience to those who love the culture, food and vibe of Italy,” said Duffy. “There are lots of ways we plan to create an immersive fun experience for our guests who choose to sail on these ships, which have beautiful Italian-design elements, dining and retail that will deliver Carnival fun leveraging the spirit of Italy from our sister line Costa Cruises.”

Mario Zanetti, president of Costa Cruises, said, “We are excited to see these iconic ships make their debut in the U.S. under the leadership and operation of our sister brand. Costa providing the beautiful ship with its’ Italian design and Carnival delivering FUN, Italian Style!” Zanetti said that Costa will be informing clients impacted by this news.

Duffy said that the ships will continue operating their regular Costa itineraries until they are assigned to Carnival for dry dock work and deployment. Deployment and itinerary plans are being finalized, with the Venezia announcement coming soon given the spring 2023 launch date. Costa Venezia and Costa Firenze are sister ships to Carnival Vista, Carnival Horizon and Carnival Panorama, weighing 135,500 gross tons and accommodating up to 5,260 guests.

Port Canaveral Welcomes Disney Wish to its New Homeport
Port Canaveral today welcomed home Disney Cruise Line’s newest cruise ship, the Disney Wish. The long-awaited addition to the Port Canaveral based Disney fleet arrived before dawn this morning escorted by a flotilla of Port-based tugboats and the Port Canaveral Fire Rescue Fireboat 2 providing the traditional water cannon salute.

“We have anticipated this homecoming of the Disney Wish for some time and know that our entire Port community is excited to have her sailing from our Port,” said Port CEO Capt. John Murray. “We are proud of the longstanding partnership we have with Disney Cruise Line, and the arrival of the Disney Wish adds to the growing number of impressive cruise ships providing high quality guest experiences from our Port.”

The Disney Wish is powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas) and will be homeported at Port Canaveral—the only cruise port in North America to support LNG fueling of vessels.

The Disney Wish will offer three- and four-night itineraries to The Bahamas with stops at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. Her inaugural sailing from the Port’s Cruise Terminal 8 will be July 14th.

The Disney Wish is the first of three new ships joining the Disney Cruise Line fleet through 2025, and, at approximately 144,000 gross tons and 1,250 guest staterooms, it is slightly larger than the Disney Fantasy, which is also homeported at Port Canaveral.

BetMGM and Carnival Corporation Partner to Offer Cruise Ship Gaming
BetMGM, a leading sports betting and iGaming operator, announced today a new partnership with Carnival Corporation to deliver world-class retail and mobile sports betting and iGaming experiences to cruise ship guests. Through this partnership, gaming will be available on more than 50 ships ported in the U.S. spanning Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises. BetMGM's platform will roll out in phases over the coming months.

"We've found an ideal partner in Carnival Corporation and look forward to providing our sports betting and iGaming products to its millions of passengers," said BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt. "This is another great opportunity for us to further expand BetMGM's footprint."

Under the agreement, Carnival Corporation will offer BetMGM-branded digital and cash-based sports betting, as well as digital real-money gaming products on-board Carnival's U.S.-branded ships in international waters. Additionally, BetMGM and Carnival Corporation will collaborate on co-marketing and promotional activations.

Marty Goldman, SVP Global Casino Operations for Carnival Corporation, said, "We're very proud to be able to deliver the excitement and engagement of sports betting and iGaming to our guests through our partnership with BetMGM. Our two leading global hospitality organizations will provide a wide array of immersive digital content as a complement to our exceptional shipboard casinos."

As BetMGM continues to expand into new markets, responsible gaming education remains a key focus. BetMGM is proud to provide resources to help customers play responsibly including GameSense, an industry leading program, developed and licensed to MGM Resorts by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. Through the GameSense integration within BetMGM's mobile and desktop platforms, customers can directly access responsible gaming tools.

The BetMGM app is available for download on both iOS and Android, and is accessible via desktop at www.betmgm.com.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 9.60 - 3.13
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 37.30 - 9.69%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 11.43 - 1.04%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which Holland America ship was the central character in the the most successful large-scale marine rescue in peacetime history and what did she do to become a "star"?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which ship is widely acknowledged to be the first vessel designed solely for cruising? What year did she enter service?

Answer - Cunard Lines ss"Caronia" aka, 'The Green Goddess" entered service in 1949. She earned her nickname due ti the various shades of green paint used on her livery. courtesy of Larry P Macdonald, Belmont, MA USA


Cruise News - June 13, 2022

Carnival Announces That Costa Luminosa Will Transfer to the Carnival Fleet and Start Service in November 2022
Carnival Cruise Line announced today that Costa Luminosa will join the Carnival fleet in September and will start guest operations as Carnival Luminosa in November 2022 from Brisbane, Australia. The acquisition of Luminosa is an update to the previously announced plans for Carnival to take Costa Magica, which will now remain at Costa Cruises.

After this delivery, Carnival Luminosa will operate seasonally from October through April from Brisbane, then reposition to Seattle, where it will sail Alaska itineraries from May through September, before returning to Brisbane.

Luminosa is a sister ship to the four other popular Spirit class ships that already sail for Carnival. Entering service in 2009, the ship accommodates up to 2,826 guests and 1,050 crew at 92,720 gross tons.

"With our full fleet back to guest operations and the pent-up demand for Carnival we are seeing every week aboard our ships, the chance to expand with Luminosa and then the arrival of Carnival Celebration in November provides our guests with more choices and new ways to enjoy a Carnival vacation," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Our Spirit class ships are very popular with our guests and Luminosa will be a great addition given the large number of balcony cabins which make her an ideal ship for this deployment. And equally important, this will allow Carnival to finally start our highly anticipated itineraries from Brisbane, so we'll have two ships operating in Australia for the high season Down Under."

Given the short timeline to get Carnival Luminosa ready for service, the ship will go through some modest updates to change over from Costa to Carnival over the next few months ahead of the November service start-up. The ship will not initially have all of the Funship 2.0 branded spaces that are seen across the Carnival fleet. The entire vessel will be staffed by the Carnival Cruise Line crew, renowned for their outstanding hospitality and fun. Cruises out of Brisbane will be announced shortly, and Carnival will sail a variety of itineraries that will initially include visits to Australian favorites such as the Great Barrier Reef and Airlie Beach, and, as destinations open over time, ports of call such as Noumea and Lifou Isle in New Caledonia, Port Vila and Mystery Island in Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

Duffy said, "The opportunity to deliver these bucket list itineraries will be exciting for our guests and we are thrilled to see the growing number of guests from the U.S. sailing on Carnival in Australia."

In addition to Carnival Luminosa out of Brisbane, Carnival Splendor will arrive in Sydney to resume sailing year-round on October 2, 2022. With the arrival of Carnival Celebration this November, Carnival's fleet will number 24 ships, and its lower berth capacity will be seven percent higher than at the end of November 2019.

Westerdam's Return to Service June 12 in Seattle Marks Holland America Line's Completion of Full Fleet Sailing Again
Holland America Line's Westerdam returned to service Sunday, June 12, 2022, at Port of Seattle in Washington, marking the last ship in the fleet to resume operations. Westerdam embarked guests for seven-day Alaska Explorer cruise roundtrip from Seattle that will position it in Alaska through the end of September.

To commemorate the occasion, Holland America Line held a ceremony in the terminal attended by the ship's captain and senior officers, with flag-waving fanfare from team members lined up to greet guests as they boarded. Three guests cut a ribbon to open embarkation, and Captain Wouter van Hoogdalem placed the final piece of a puzzle with "Westerdam" on it to signify the completion of return to service for the cruise line.

"Today is an emotional day that's been more than a year in the making, and Westerdam is the final puzzle pieceto make our fleet of ships in service complete," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "Every ribbon cutting has brought us one step closer to today, and everyone in the Holland America Line family worked with passion and determination to achieve this milestone. We are excited to welcome guests and overwhelmed with what today means for our company."

Following its season in Alaska, Westerdam will embark on an epic 36-day "South Pacific Crossing" repositioning from Seattle to Sydney, Australia. Along the way, the ship will make 17 calls at some of the world's most beautiful islands and tropical locations. Westerdam will then offer a season of roundtrip from Sydney itineraries to the north and south islands of New Zealand, along with southern Australia. In December 2022, the ship sails along the east coast of the continent up to Singapore via the Great Barrier Reef. In early 2023, Westerdam offers cruises to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, China and the Philippines before crossing back to North America for another season in Alaska.

Since Holland America Line restarted cruising in July 2021, Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Noordam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam, Zaandam and Zuiderdam have returned to service with cruises in Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, California Coast and South Pacific. Volendam currently is under charter by the government of the Netherlands, accommodating Ukrainian families, and will sail Mediterranean voyages from Italy starting in September.

AIDAvita to Leave Aida Cruises Fleet
Aida Cruises announced this week that after 20 successful years in service for Aida Cruises, AIDAvita is leaving the fleet.

The vessel is being decommissioned. The oldest ship sailing for AIDA has not sailed since the start of the pandemic and will not do so again, at least not for the German cruise line.

From the departure of the AIDAcara until today, the AIDAvita was the oldest ship in the fleet built in 2002. However, as the oldest ship, AIDAvita has not completed a single cruise since the start of the pandemic. Again and again, a restart was planned but then has to be canceled. AIDA Cruises fleet is now reduced to twelve cruise ships,

In a statement, the company said “After 20 successful years, AIDAvita will no longer be used by the company. Guests who have already booked a trip with AIDAvita will be contacted and informed about their new travel options or re-booking options."

"For example, AIDAbella will take over AIDAvita's Great Winter Break routes. The voyages will take 43 and 44 days, respectively, from Hamburg to the Caribbean and back. In 21 or 26 days, guests can sail to the Canary Islands and back to Hamburg. The three cruises "Autumnal Northern Lights" from/to Hamburg will also be taken over by AIDAbella. Guests of AIDAvita can, of course, also choose another cruise from the diverse AIDA program until winter 2023/24."

Norwegian Cruise Line Returning to Canary Islands
Norwegian Cruise Line announced this week its return to the Canary Islands for the first time since 2017, delivering guests more choice and flexibility with year-round Europe cruise offerings in 2022.

Following a grand 22-day transatlantic voyage from Miami to Lisbon, Norwegian Sun will make her return to Europe offering immersive Canary Island sailings from Nov. 21, 2022. Cruises on board the nearly 2,000-passenger ship will range from 10 to 14 days and will provide guests with greater flexibility by offering a choice of embarkation ports, including Lisbon, Portugal; Malaga, Spain; and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands. Furthermore, during Norwegian Sun’s debut six-month season in the region, she will call to various new ports for NCL, including Puerto del Rosario (Fuerteventura) and San Sebastian de la Gomera, Canary Islands, Spain; Cueta, Spain; Agadir, Morocco; and Horta (Azores), Portugal.

“The Canaries have always been a draw for travelers from all over the globe and more so now when seeking some much-needed winter sun. Norwegian Sun’s new itineraries provide for a unique combination of the Canary Islands with ports in Portugal, mainland Spain as well as Morocco, offering our guests an all-year Europe season with nine ships to make the most of their travel this year. ” — Harry Sommer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Norwegian Cruise Line

Providing access to some of the most sought-after ports in the region - ranging from Agadir and Casablanca in Morocco to Las Palmas and Arrecife in Spain - voyages also visit hidden gems such as Ceuta in North Africa and Cadiz in Spain. Port-intensive cruises include no more than two days at sea and an average of twelve hours in port time, with late night stays in Lisbon, Portugal; Santa Cruz de Tenerife; Las Palmas (Grand Canaria) and Casablanca, Morocco. Plus, select sailings include overnight calls in idyllic locations where nightlife abounds, including Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Funchal (Madeira), Portugal.

Including Norwegian Sun, nine NCL ships are sailing in European waters this summer and make up the greatest European fleet in the Cruise Line’s history. Calling at more European ports than any other contemporary cruise line, NCL will offer guests greater choices than ever before, including Norwegian Prima, the newest member of NCL's fleet and the first in the ground-breaking Prima Class, set to debut in Iceland in August 2022. NCL’s extensive range of European itineraries in 2022 include voyages to the Greek Isles, the Norwegian Fjords, the Mediterranean and the Canaries.

Carnival Cruise Line Reveals The Gateway on Its Newest Ship
Carnival Cruise Line’s next ship, Carnival Celebration, will feature The Gateway, an entirely new area on two decks that celebrates travel and the excitement of exploring new destinations. The zone was revealed during a virtual press conference today hosted by Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy.

With design and décor inspired by grand terminals, transportation stations and departure points around the world, the entertainment, dining and shopping zone will feature a promenade highlighted by 12 high-definition multimedia virtual windows displaying unique scenes. The 9.5’ by 5’ windows and the nearly 100’ LED ceiling will be complemented by show lighting and a state-of-the-art sound system to create a truly immersive experience throughout the zone.

By day, guests will be entertained with relaxing scenes like a sunny sky, but by night, the zone will take varying nightly themes, transporting guests to far-off places throughout the world. Some of the theme nights will include Abroad in Europe, Far East Voyage and Mexico Lindo.

“The Gateway was created to celebrate the enriching experience we all feel when traveling – not only because of the destinations we travel to, but also the world of cultures we get to explore,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We have millions of guests and team members who come from around the world to have fun together and create a welcoming and inclusive environment while sailing to new places – that is the beauty of traveling, especially on a Carnival ship, and that is what this zone will celebrate.”

The zone’s offerings will support the night’s theme – from the music played, to the drinks and food served, and the entertainment activations offered. For example, on Mexico Lindo night, while the window displays and surrounding technology may take guests on a journey through ancient Mayan cities, beautiful beaches, lush jungles, or magical towns, guests will enjoy themed offerings like special margaritas, palomas and agave tastings, accompanied by a specialty food item tied to the evening’s theme. Or for Exploring South America night, as sunset views over the Amazon and Machu Picchu or a moon-lit Rio de Janeiro sweep the scenes, a fun Brazilian celebration will get everyone on their feet while they sip on a Caipirinha or a Chilcano and indulge in a themed bite.

“When designing this innovative and transformative environment, we wanted to make sure that there was something new and exciting to see and experience every time a guest walks through the zone between day and night, and from day to day,” said Ben Clement, senior vice president of new builds, refurbishment and product innovation. “We also wanted to ensure that the entire promenade in The Gateway was connected and that the upper level was engaged with what is happening below.”

The Gateway’s main promenade will be home to a new travel-inspired bar concept, Latitudes. Latitudes will be reminiscent of a classic airport or train station with travel-themed chairs, menus and a mechanical split-flap display board, a modern take on the classic “departures” board that is being custom built by Oat Foundry in Philadelphia. Uniquely designed to come to life periodically with motion and sounds, including the familiar clack clack sound that sparks memories of past travels, the board will change to display the bar’s daily menu offerings and will include messages to support the imagery on the surrounding virtual windows. Offerings will include cocktails, spirits and wines from destinations around the world as well as special tastings and samplers.

Every evening, guests will enjoy a new Celebration Happy Hour event at Latitudes that will be hosted by the entertainment team and serve as an opportunity to celebrate special occasions and milestones such as birthdays, anniversaries and more.

Bringing the best from Mardi Gras to Carnival Celebration, The Gateway will also include the second seagoing restaurant by world-renowned chef and restaurateur Emeril Lagasse, Emeril’s Bistro 1397, but this time, with a twist – and we’re not just talking about the new name of the venue to represent this ship’s hull number. The menu will not only feature guest-favorites from Mardi Gras but will also offer the best of international cuisines and flavors presented with a special Carnival flair for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant will boast seating along the promenade’s walkway as well as a dedicated and more intimate dining area with ocean views.

The Gateway will also feature a large digital map display showcasing the locations of Carnival’s ships around the world in real time. The zone will be home to the recently revealed bar and lounge, The Golden Jubilee, as well, which ties into the zone’s theme of travel, celebrating Carnival’s 50 years of fun and the line’s Fun Ships that have served as their own destinations and as a means to travel around the world for the past five decades.

The ship’s main dining rooms adjacent to The Gateway will pay homage to Carnival’s history, with the forward Carnivale Restaurant, named after Carnival’s second ship, and the aft Festivale Restaurant, named after Carnival’s third ship.

Adjacent are also guest favorites including the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, Carnival Kitchen, and Limelight Lounge.

The Gateway is the final zone aboard Carnival Celebration, joining 820 Biscayne, Celebration Central, The Ultimate Playground, Summer Landing, and Lido zones.

Carnival Celebration will be the second Carnival ship to be powered by a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system, part of Carnival Corporation’s green cruising platform, and will include BOLT, the award-winning roller coaster at the top of the ship. Carnival Celebration will debut in November from the redesigned state-of-the-art Terminal F at PortMiami, the line’s third terminal at the port and its largest in South Florida. The terminal will be among the first to be shore-power ready in 2023.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 9.91 - 27.19
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 41.30 - 27.29%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 11.55 - 26.67%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which ship is widely acknowledged to be the first vessel designed solely for cruising? What year did she enter service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which two 1930's ocean liners had seaplanes mounted between their funnels for the purpose of delivering the mail via air thirty-six hours before the ships docked?

Answer - The two ships with the catapult for air mail planes were the BREMEN and EUROPA of North German Lloyd. courtesy of Jerry Thompson, New York, NY.


Cruise News - June 6, 2022

Seabourn Announces the Return of Seabourn Sojourn
Seabourn is celebrating the return of its entire fleet of ultra-luxury ships, with the departure of Seabourn Sojourn from Athens, Greece, today.

Seabourn now has all five of its ships in operation for the first time since March 2020. This summer, Seabourn Sojourn will join Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Quest in the Mediterranean, while Seabourn Ovation will visit Northern Europe and Seabourn Odyssey will explore Alaska. The excitement will continue for the line when Seabourn Venture, the first of the line's two ultra-luxury, purpose-built expedition ships, embarks on its inaugural expedition this summer.

"Today is an important milestone for the entire Seabourn family, and we are so incredibly happy to have all of our ships back in operation," said Seabourn President Josh Leibowitz. "The Seabourn Sojourn team members have been looking forward to this day and are eager to welcome guests back on board and provide them with the finest service, indulgences, and special 'Seabourn Moments' throughout their time on board with us."

Europe, the Caribbean, and then the World

A star of the small-ship category for 450 guests, Seabourn Sojourn beckons seasoned and first-time travelers alike with an ultra-luxury travel experience that has been keeping guests coming back for more over the years. On its first voyage back, the ship departs for a 10-day voyage from Athens to Valletta, Malta, and is scheduled to spend all of summer and part of autumn sailing along the Mediterranean Sea with itineraries as captivating as the destinations. Highlights include:

• Between June and mid-October, Seabourn Sojourn will offer seven-day voyages through the Western Mediterranean between Barcelona and Rome exploring the French, Spanish and Italian Rivieras, interspersed with 10- and 11-day voyages between Monte Carlo and Barcelona with visits to such destinations as Tangier, Gibraltar, and Malta. Longer combination voyages will also be available such as 21-Day Mediterranean Tapestry round trip from Barcelona on July 17, and back-to-back 14-Day Rivieras & Spanish Enchantment voyages round trip from Rome on August 14. The season includes a special Rock-n-Roll '80s theme voyage on Seabourn Sojourn's August 21-28 sailing, featuring an array of performances reminiscent of the 80s with award-winning pianist, Bernard Walz; comedy and musical performer, Steve Stevens; and party band, Coyote's 80's Mixtape.

• Beginning mid-October, Seabourn Sojourn will turn its focus to Spain and Portugal and sail on two voyages to the Canary Islands, the volcanic Spanish archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa.

• On November 6, Seabourn Sojourn will bid Lisbon and Europe adieu and cross the Atlantic Ocean on 12-Day Autumn Atlantic Sojourn, arriving in Miami for four roundtrip voyages to the Caribbean.

• The ship will then head off around the world on 140-Day Extraordinary Discoveries, departing January 6, 2023 from Miami to Barcelona. Seabourn Sojourn will cross two great oceans – Pacific and Indian – as well as traverse the Atlantic Ocean along the coast of Africa, stopping at renowned ports, including Papeete, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Mombasa, Cape Town, Durban, Dakar, Casablanca and more. The ship will also visit a number of small, hidden gems in the South Pacific, Easter Island, Papua New Guinea, Western Australia, Seychelles, Cape Verde, West Africa and more. The ship will visit a total of 61 destinations and 32 countries, and include overnights in 10 cities and extended stays late into the evening in 16 ports. Shorter segments ranging from 21 to 81 days in length are available for travelers who can't sail for the full duration of the voyage.

Seabourn's all-inclusive, boutique ships offer all-suite accommodations with oceanfront views; award-winning dining; complimentary premium spirits and fine wines available at all times; renowned service provided by an industry-leading crew; a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel at home; a pedigree in expedition travel through the Ventures by Seabourn program and two new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ships coming in 2022 and 2023. Seabourn takes travelers to every continent on the globe, traveling to more than 400 ports including marquee cities and lesser-known ports and hideaways. Guests of Seabourn experience extraordinary offerings and programs, including partnerships with leading entertainers, dining, personal health and wellbeing, and engaging speakers.

MSC Cruises’ Entire Fleet Back in Operation
MSC Cruises’ entire fleet of 19 ships is now back at sea following MSC Musica’s return to water yesterday at the start of her summer season from Monfalcone/Venice in Italy.

MSC Musica set sail for the first of her planned 23 seven-night summer 2022 voyages to Katakolon in Greece, the traditional birthplace of the Olympic Games, the Greek islands of both Crete and Santorini, plus Bari in Italy, before she returns next weekend to her seasonal homeport.

Following the global cruise industry’s voluntary shutdown in March 2020 as a result of the pandemic ashore, MSC Grandiosa became the first ship of any major cruise line to return to sea in August 2020 under MSC Cruises’ pioneering health and safety protocol designed for the wellbeing of the line’s guests and crew.

MSC Cruises continued throughout the pandemic to stick to its ambitious expansion programme and in 2021 it introduced two new vessels to its fleet, MSC Virtuosa and MSC Seashore.

The brand will welcome two more ships at the end of 2022 – MSC Seascape and its first liquefied natural gas-powered vessel, MSC World Europa. Sales for both ships are already open.

MSC Cruises’ full fleet deployment for summer 2022 is:

West Mediterranean: MSC Meraviglia - homeport Barcelona; MSC Opera - homeport Genoa; MSC Orchestra - homeport Genoa; MSC Seaside - homeport Genoa; MSC Seaview - homeport Genoa; MSC Splendida - homeport Genoa.

East Mediterranean: MSC Armonia - homeport Venice/Marghera; MSC Fantasia - homeport Trieste; MSC Lirica - homeport Piraeus; MSC Musica - homeport Monfalcone/Venice; MSC Sinfonia – Venice/Marghera.

Northern Europe: MSC Grandiosa - homeport Kiel; MSC Magnifica - homeport Hamburg; MSC Poesia - homeport Warnemünde; MSC Preziosa - homeport Kiel; MSC Virtuosa - homeport Southampton.

North America: MSC Divina - homeport Port Canaveral; MSC Seashore - homeport Miami.

Middle East: MSC Bellissima - homeports Dubai

Royal Caribbean Sets Course for International Shores on Singapore Cruises
Holidaymakers can now set their sights on adventures beyond the shores of Singapore with Royal Caribbean International. Cruises to somewhere are making a long-awaited comeback in Singapore when Spectrum of the Seas begins cruising to popular destinations in Malaysia as soon as 30th June. With the combination of adventures on board and ashore in Penang and Kuala Lumpur, the new 3- and 4-night itineraries on Asia’s largest and most innovative ship offer guests of all ages the first opportunity of many to sail and explore international shores again. Cruises from Singapore to Malaysia are open to book today on the cruise line’s website.

In Penang and Kuala Lumpur, holidaymakers can look forward to memories made by exploring a plethora of cultures, historical sites, mouth-watering street food and more. There is a line-up of shore excursions to choose from with Royal Caribbean, ranging from a trip to visit Southeast Asia’s oldest Anglican church, St. George's Church, in Penang to an adventure into the Batu Caves of Kuala Lumpur, where colourful displays of Hindu deities adorn limestone cave walls.

“We are thrilled to be the first cruise line in Singapore to reconnect holidaymakers with Asia’s beautiful destinations once again. The vibrant and culture-rich cities of Penang and Kuala Lumpur have so much to offer, and that is only the beginning,” said Angie Stephen, vice president and managing director, Asia-Pacific, Royal Caribbean International. “After more than two years, the excitement from guests, both locals and fly cruisers, along with our travel partners is undeniable. Singapore is a top destination in and of itself, and its proximity to neighbouring countries makes it easy to venture out and explore. There’s no better way to take full advantage of this than by taking a cruise, where guests can enjoy the ultimate combination of thrills, entertainment, dining and activities as they sail from one idyllic destination to the next on Spectrum of the Seas.”

“We have been working closely with various governments in Southeast Asia to align on cruise protocols and policies, and are excited to bring back port calls in Malaysia for sailings as a start,” said Annie Chang, Director of Cruise, Singapore Tourism Board. “Port calls will provide more vacation options, and we look forward to seeing more first-time and repeat cruisers in the coming year as more ports in the region open up.”

Adventurers cruising on Spectrum, which began its debut Singapore season in April with Ocean Getaways, can enjoy an action-packed holiday for the whole family. Highlights of the experiences on board include Singapore’s first virtual reality, bungee trampoline adventure, Sky Pad; an array of delectable Asian-inspired dining at Teppanyaki, Sichuan Red, Hot Pot and more; and the luxurious Suite Enclave that features exclusive amenities such as private dining rooms and dedicated lounges. More signature ways to play and make memories are also in store at SeaPlex, the largest indoor activity complex at sea – complete with bumper cars and more; to the skydiving simulator, RipCord by iFly; North Star, the all-glass observation capsule that takes guests 300 feet above sea level; and the FlowRider surf simulator.

Carnival Deploys Menu Mate Food Ingredient Program Fleetwide
Extensive dining options help feed the fun at Carnival Cruise Line, and as anyone with food allergies knows, having a variety of healthy choices is more than just enjoyable – but also important to safety. That’s why Carnival is now introducing the Menu Mate™ food ingredient program fleetwide to accommodate guests with special diets more efficiently than ever.

“Making sure everyone is included in the fun and has the best experience possible is extremely important to us,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We are always looking for new ways to help our crew enhance our guests’ experiences, and that’s exactly what this new program is doing on our ships for those with food allergies.”

Easily operated on touch-screen tablets at food venues across the Carnival fleet, the Menu Mate food ingredient program is powered by award-winning CertiStar software to mitigate the risks of allergic reactions. The new program is the first of its kind among major cruise lines.

“I’m a lifelong cruiser, with my first time on a Carnival cruise as a teenager, so I know firsthand how important it is to make the most of every moment with family and friends. As someone with food allergies, I don’t want to waste time deliberating over what I can eat, so I’m especially excited to help share this effort with my fellow cruise lovers,” said Shandee Chernow, CEO and founder of CertiStar.

The new Menu Mate food ingredient program works simply for both guests and crew. Staff will ask guests about food allergies and enter any restrictions into the program. The software will then sort through all available options and display which items are allergen friendly, which options can be modified to exclude allergens and which selections should be avoided. If preferred, guests can also use the Menu Mate designated tablet themselves to enter in their own allergy/dietary information and then order from the options curated to meet their needs.

The program eliminates the lengthy process of conferring between guests, wait staff and chefs over the ingredients of menu items and possible substitutions. Now that the process of selecting items with allergen friendly ingredients is simplified, it is also no longer necessary for guests to inform Carnival of food allergies in advance of their cruise. To hear about one guest’s recent experience ordering onboard meals with the help of a Menu Mate tablet, click here.

To ensure the program’s efficiency, Carnival culinary staff studied recipes across the line and worked to capture any potential allergen conflicts by inputting accurate ingredient information into the CertiStar software. To use the program directly and research allergen friendly options on their own, guests will be able to find a Menu Mate tablet on display near the Lido buffet stations as well.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Announces Animal Welfare Goals
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: NCLH) (the “Company”), a leading global cruise company which operates Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, announced today that it has expanded its commitment to responsible sourcing practices including the legal, ethical and humane treatment of animals within its supply chain. In support of the Company’s global sustainability program, Sail & Sustain, the Company strengthened its efforts with new standards and goals to promote animal welfare and sustainable sourcing across four key areas: chicken, eggs, pork and seafood.

“We are pleased to strengthen our commitment to animal welfare and responsible sourcing with concrete goals around chicken, eggs, pork and seafood. We recognize our responsibility to be good corporate citizens and our unique position to drive a positive impact across our supply chain,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “We do not plan to stop here, and we will continue to engage with our diverse suppliers worldwide to promote and encourage sustainable practices including animal welfare.”

Animal welfare is important to the Company and its stakeholders, and the Company encourages its suppliers to implement procedures to prevent the mistreatment of animals. Current goals are outlined below:

• 100% target for chicken purchased from suppliers in the U.S. and Canada who meet GAP standards by 2024: The Company is currently phasing in updated purchasing policies for chicken using standards from the Global Animal Partnership (GAP). These standards define humane treatment for chicken housing and processing. By 2024, we plan to have all chicken purchased in the U.S. and Canada sourced from suppliers who meet GAP standards.

• 100% target for cage-free eggs from U.S. suppliers by end of 2025: For laying hens, cage-free confinement systems are considered to be more humane as they allow greater freedom of movement and space to express more natural behaviors than conventional methods. That’s why the Company continues to identify and encourage U.S.-based suppliers to use cage-free environments for their hens.

• 100% target for gestation crate-free pork by 2025: The Company is actively engaging with its suppliers to source only pork products that have been raised without the use of gestation crates.

• 100% certified sustainable seafood by 2025: The Company has made strong progress to purchase all seafood from certified sustainable sources. More than half of its worldwide seafood purchases was certified by a recognized certification authority, such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), or the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), in 2019.

“Our strong and diverse supply chain, consisting of nearly 20,000 global suppliers, form the underpinnings of our day-to-day operations,” said Carl Robie, executive vice president of supply chain and logistics of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “It’s a natural step for us to align all levels of our business with our global sustainability program, Sail & Sustain, and we are pleased to not only formally define our Animal Welfare Commitment but also outline our overall Responsible Sourcing Mission Statement. Through these initiatives, we can ensure responsible sourcing practices will remain deeply rooted across our entire organization.”

The Company is working with suppliers to increase availability of cage-free eggs, GAP-certified chicken, gestation crate-free pork and certified sustainable seafood. In the event the supply needed to reach these goals is not available, the Company will continue to work with our supplier partners to continue expanding product availability to meet demand. The Company plans to provide progress updates against these goals in its annual Environmental, Social & Governance report.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 13.61 - 2.58%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 56.80 - 2.39%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 15.75 - 2.78%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which two 1930's ocean liners had seaplanes mounted between their funnels for the purpose of delivering the mail via air thirty-six hours before the ships docked?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which cruise ship was rumored to have been a "spy ship" when she sailed for the East German government from 1965 to 1990?

Answer - Orient Lines Marco Polo, then sailing as the Alexandr Pushkin. courtesy of Ted Newland.


Cruise News - May 30, 2022

Holland America Line's Holds Naming Ceremony for Rotterdam
Holland America Line's flagship Rotterdam received the royal treatment in a ceremony rich with Dutch heritage May 30, 2022, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands served as godmother and officially named the ship in front of invited dignitaries and guests.

Upon arrival, Princess Margriet was welcomed at the gangway with a traditional floral bouquet presented by seven-year-old Nora van Dijk, daughter of Nathalie van Dijk, who has been with Holland America Line for 15 years, most recently as a business development representative in sales in the Rotterdam office. During the daytime naming celebration, Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald, Holland America Group President Jan Swartz, Rotterdam Captain Werner Timmers, Lord Mayor of Rotterdam Ahmed Aboutaleb and Mariner Ambassadors David and Gisela Gere joined Princess Margriet to officially welcome Rotterdam to the fleet.

"Our heritage is rooted here in the Netherlands, and we are deeply honored to have Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet as godmother of her fifth Holland America Line ship," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "When Rotterdam was delivered in 2021 we postponed its naming ceremony so we could hold it in Rotterdam, because there's no better place to name a ship than in the city it was named after. After a challenging couple of years, we are excited to celebrate this memorable moment in our company's history."

Following the ceremony, a gala luncheon was held onboard for invited guests. The festivities continued into the evening with a gala dinner and the opportunity for guests to pour champagne over the ship's bell. The blessing of the ship's bell is a Holland America Line tradition when welcoming a new ship to the fleet.

Rotterdam's naming ceremony also was attended by Stein Kruse, senior advisor to the chairman and CEO, Carnival Corporation; Keith Taylor executive vice president, fleet operations Holland America Group; Randy Weisenburger, board member, Carnival Corporation; Nico Bleichrodt, vice president, international sales, Holland America Line and Seabourn; Jaap Smit, commissioner to the King; and Boudewijn Siemons, COO, Port Of Rotterdam and Chairman of the Cruise Policy Board. Antorcha was unable to attend the ceremony.

The Geres were selected as Mariner Ambassadors for Rotterdam to honor Holland America Line's appreciation of its loyal guests who are long-time cruisers. Since first sailing in 1988 aboard Rotterdam V, the Geres have sailed nearly 2,500 days on Holland America Line, including several cruises on Rotterdam VI.

A History of Royal Namings
Holland America Line's connection to The House of Orange goes back nearly a century to Prince Hendrik launching Statendam III in 1929. Since then, members of the Dutch Royal Family have launched 11 more Holland America Line vessels throughout the years, including Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet who named Prinsendam (1972), Nieuw Amsterdam II (1983), Rotterdam VI (1997) and Oosterdam (2003).

Additional members of the Dutch Royal Family who are godmothers include Queen Máxima, who named Koningsdam in 2016 and Nieuw Amsterdam in 2010. Then-Queen Beatrix served as Eurodam's godmother in 2008. Rotterdam V was launched in 1958 by Queen Juliana. Then-Princess Beatrix named Statendam IV in 1957 and Prinses Margriet in 1960. Nieuw Amsterdam II was launched by Queen Wilhelmina in 1937.

The third vessel in the Pinnacle Class series and the seventh ship to bear the name for Holland America Line, Rotterdam carries 2,668 guests and features highly successful amenities and innovations introduced with her sister ships. Throughout the ship, Rotterdam showcases Holland America Line hallmarks that drive one of the highest guest repeat rates in the industry: exquisite cuisine guided by seven of the world's leading chefs; gracious, award-winning service; and superbly appointed staterooms and suites, including family and single accommodations.

Rotterdam delivers the best live music at sea with an exclusive collection of world-class performances nightly at Rolling Stone Rock Room with classic rock hits; Lincoln Center Stage, offering chamber music; Billboard Onboard, where live musicians entertain the crowd with chart-topping hits; and the popular B.B. King's Blues Club, bringing the best of Memphis music to sea. With the 270-degree LED projection at World Stage, Rotterdam immerses guests in panoramic visual and sound effects.

In addition to the impressive Dining Room, guests can delight in specialty restaurants Rudi's Sel de Mer, a French seafood brasserie; Tamarind, exploring traditions of Southeast Asia, China and Japan; Nami Sushi with tasty sushi and Asian spirits; Pinnacle Grill, the ultimate steakhouse at sea; Canaletto with family-style Italian dining; and Club Orange exclusively for guests in the Club Orange program.

Rotterdam's special seven-day "Rotterdam Naming Celebration" cruise departed May 29 and sails roundtrip from Amsterdam, Netherlands, also visiting Kristiansand, Stavanger and Flåm, Norway, with scenic cruising in Sognefjord.

Following the cruise, the ship will homeport out of Amsterdam and spend the season on seven- and 14-day Norway cruises, as well as explorations to Scandinavia, Iceland and the Northern Isles.

On Oct. 15, 1872, Rotterdam I — the first Holland America Line ship — embarked on its maiden voyage from Rotterdam to New York. Exactly 150 years later on Oct. 15, 2022, Rotterdam VII will depart Rotterdam once again as Holland America Line recreates this historic 150th Anniversary crossing with calls at Plymouth, England; New York and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The ship will then spend the season in the Caribbean sailing tropical itineraries roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale.

Fire Breaks Out on Carnival Freedom
Carnival issued the following statement following a fire that broke out on Carnival Freedom:

On Thursday morning while in port at Grand Turk, Carnival Freedom’s emergency response team quickly activated and extinguished a fire inside the ship’s funnel. All guests and crew are safe, and all other ship, hotel, and guest services, along with safety equipment are fully functioning.

While the majority of Carnival Freedom’s guests went ashore in Grand Turk today, Carnival’s technical team completed an initial assessment of the funnel and related features, and the shoreside team completed a plan to get our guests back to Port Canaveral.

There are 2504 guests and 972 crew on board. Carnival Conquest’s next cruise, departing May 27 from Miami has been cancelled and that ship will be deployed to Grand Turk to transport Freedom guests back to Port Canaveral. Carnival Conquest will arrive to Grand Turk on Saturday, May 28 and guests aboard Carnival Freedom will transfer to Carnival Conquest for the voyage back to Port Canaveral, arriving on Monday, May 30. Carnival Conquest will then return to Miami, and her May 30 departure will be shortened by one day, with guests embarking on May 31.

Once guests are transferred from Carnival Freedom, the ship will proceed to Freeport for a repair to the funnel. The May 28, June 2 and June 6 departures of Carnival Freedom from Port Canaveral have been cancelled. Guests booked on the impacted sailings on Carnival Conquest and Carnival Freedom voyages have been notified of these changes.

Carnival apologized to all those guests who are impacted and offered special thanks to the crew who handled the situation on the ship effectively and according to safety protocols.

Viking Celebrates Start of Inaugural Season in North America's Great Lakes
Viking continues to mark new milestones for its expedition voyages, as the new purpose-built Viking Octantis kicks off its inaugural season in the Great Lakes. Designed specifically to reach the Great Lakes region, the Viking Octantis recently completed a roundtrip through the Welland Canal—a key section of the St. Lawrence Seaway connecting Lake Ontario and Lake Erie—making it the largest passenger vessel ever to transit the canal. The ship will remain in the Great Lakes until early October 2022, sailing a variety of itineraries between Toronto and Duluth. A second expedition vessel, the Viking Polaris, will debut later this year and will join the Viking Octantis in the Great Lakes for the 2023 season.

"Our expedition ships were designed with the Great Lakes in mind. This region has been historically underserved by cruise lines, and we are delighted by the warm and enthusiastic reception we have received from the local communities," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "With our first season now underway, we are pleased with the strong demand among our guests and look forward to introducing even more curious travelers to these fantastic destinations in 2023."

Viking's arrival to the Great Lakes brings the newest and most modern vessels ever to explore this region of North America, as well as a significant commitment to local tourism and economic development for the states of Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio (beginning in 2023) and the Canadian province of Ontario.

To help develop the scientific enrichment program for its Great Lakes voyages, Viking has partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL), which conducts innovative research on the dynamic environments and ecosystems of the Great Lakes and coastal regions to provide information for resource use and management decisions that lead to safe and sustainable ecosystems, ecosystem services, and human communities. Viking's expedition ships have also been designated official NOAA / U.S. National Weather Service weather balloon stations, from which regular launches are undertaken.

2022—2023 Great Lakes Voyages:

During Viking's inaugural 2022 season, the company is operating four new itineraries in the Great Lakes. Highlights include:

• Undiscovered Great Lakes (8 days; Thunder Bay to Milwaukee) – Cross the width of Lake Superior between Duluth and the Soo Locks, exploring the Apostle Islands and Keweenaw Peninsula along the way. Hike along clifftop trails for sweeping views of the lake. Gain insight into the unique features and ecosystems of remote wilderness islands, and admire Kakabeka Falls, the "Niagara of the North." Discover sea caves by kayak and step back in time as you stroll the quaint, car-free streets of Mackinac Island.

• Great Lakes Explorer (8 days; Milwaukee to Thunder Bay) – Discover the maze of granite islands that comprise Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve while hiking and kayaking through its tranquil beauty and admiring sweeping vistas. Experience Victorian charm on Mackinac Island and venture into the boreal forests of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park on Lake Superior's northern shore. Explore coastal wetlands replete with birdlife, comb pristine beaches and get acquainted with native cultures of the northern Great Lakes.

• Niagara & The Great Lakes (8 days; Toronto to Milwaukee) – From urban skylines to uninhabited islands, discover North America's wilderness alongside renowned cultural attractions while cruising the striking waterways of the Great Lakes. Immerse yourself in the lakes' compelling shipping history, experience the power of thundering Niagara Falls and keep watch for scores of migratory birds at Point Pelee. Led by a team of experts, explore sheltered bays and woodlands to uncover complex ecosystems and hidden treasures.

• Canadian Discovery (13 days; New York to Toronto) – Unleash your inner explorer in the remote wilds of eastern Canada. Discover this region's rich colonial past amid stunning natural settings. Admire the unparalleled beauty of the rugged coast of the Canadian Maritimes. Cruise along the wide expanse of the St. Lawrence River and marvel at the dramatic cliffs and wildlife of the Saguenay River Valley. Engaging shore excursions in each port allow you to better enjoy all this region has to offer.

In 2023, Viking will add a new, 15-day voyage:

• Great Lakes Collection (15 days; Toronto to Duluth) – Join Viking for a unique expedition across the historic waterways of all five of the majestic Great Lakes. Experience culture-rich urban centers and admire the awesome power of thundering Niagara Falls. Explore the granite islands and sheltered inlets of Georgian Bay and traverse the famous Soo Locks. Study the aquatic ecosystems of the lakes and venture into the dense boreal forests that line the shores of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan.

Viking Expedition Ships

The new Polar Class Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris host 378 guests in 189 staterooms. The vessels are purpose-built for expeditions, at an ideal size for safety and comfort in remote destinations. With more indoor and outdoor viewing areas than other expedition vessels, guests are as close as possible to the most magnificent scenery on earth.

Azamara's Entire Fleet of Four Ships Returns to Service
Azamar announced this week that its entire fleet of four ships has officially returned to the high seas. The full fleet is welcoming guests onboard with country intensive itineraries, immersive land programs, and more overnights in each port, allowing travelers to fully immerse themselves in each destination.

"I am beyond thankful to our hard-working team and dedicated crew members for all the incredible work and effort that has brought us to this exciting moment," says Carol Cabezas, President of Azamara. "Thanks to them, our four-ship fleet are all sailing for the first time ever, allowing us even more opportunities to immerse our guests in the smaller ports and hidden gem destinations of the world."

As its fleet returns to service, Azamara continues to reinforce its commitment to Destination Immersion® experiences – the independent cruise line will visit 362 unique ports around the world, with 392 overnight stays, 862 late nights, and over 3,000 shore excursions, nearly 1,000 of which have been created since the pandemic began. Onboard restaurants, including Discoveries and Windows Café, have redesigned each menu to feature World Cuisine Selection dishes, highlighting a variety of countries visited by Azamara ships. Guests sailing on Azamara Onward can experience the new and exclusive specialty venue, Atlas Bar, offering innovative artisanal cocktails including the Grand Bazaar, London Fog Martini, and the Tuscany Delight.

Azamara's newest ship, Azamara Onward, celebrated its launch with an exciting naming ceremony and traditional christening in Monte Carlo on May 2. Following the ceremony, Azamara Onward embarked on an 11-Night Maiden Voyage throughout the Mediterranean, departing from Monte Carlo and concluding with an overnight stay in Ravenna, Italy. Azamara Onward is currently in the midst of a 7-Night Greece Intensive Voyage. Azamara Journey returns to service today embarking on a 10-Night Greece Intensive Voyage, while Azamara Pursuit sets sail today for a 5-Night Grand Prix Weekend Voyage, and Azamara Quest embarks on a 9-Night Spring Med & Grand Prix Voyage.

Azamara's four ships will sail Europe this summer, before heading to Asia, Australia, South America, and more global destinations

Cunard Introduces a New Chapter of Wellbeing at Sea
The tranquil setting of Mareel Wellness & Beauty finds its perfect home on board Cunard's Queen Anne. Relax and rejuvenate in this sanctuary for all, enjoying the use of state of the art facilities that will leave you refreshed and radiant, from inside out.

What's more, the newest ship to the Cunard fleet will house the Pavilion Wellness Studio on the top deck, a stunning addition that will be open from sunrise to sunset. Let stress evaporate as you watch the sun set over the horizon during regular fitness sessions, from spin classes to yoga

Here you can relish a sense of calm as you lose yourself in a sequence of yoga postures or mindful meditation, while the sun sets over the horizon. Let the world’s natural elements support your wellness once again, by allowing the fresh ocean air to cool you during laps of the generous outdoor deck space.

To further complement your wellbeing on board, perhaps dine at the Wellness Café, or choose one of the healthy options found on menus across the ship. With fresh fruit in abundance, smoothies made to order, and plenty of vegan and vegetarian options available, Queen Anne is truly the perfect setting for a memorable wellness experience.

Let stress melt away in the steam room or sauna, feel reinvigorated in the icy cold room, and find a sense of weightless relaxation as you float in the thermal pool. After a swim or steam, enjoy the therapeutic benefits of our thermal loungers. Here you can close your eyes and absorb the peaceful atmosphere, or perhaps read a magazine while waiting for a luxurious marine-inspired treatment.

On board Queen Anne, there is so much more to wellness in addition to the serenity of the spa. Get the endorphins flowing with a workout at the state-of-the-art fitness center. Equipped with cardio machines, free weights, a sprung floor, and a spin class studio, you’ll find everything you need to continue your own fitness regime or curate a perfect new workout. You’ll also have access to our expert personal trainers, should you prefer a little extra guidance.

After your workout, you can perhaps head to the salon for some well-earned pampering, and let one of our hair stylists or barbers help you look and feel your best for the evening ahead.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 13.97 + 6.56%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 55.19 + 5.07%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 16.20 + 7.28%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which cruise ship was rumored to have been a "spy ship" when she sailed for the East German government from 1965 to 1990?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What ever became of Cunard's Carpathia that became famous for rescuing the survivors of Titanic?

Answer - The outbreak of World War I saw her on the on the Liverpool-New York route from 1915 until 17 July 1918, when she was torpedoed and sunk by U55, 170 miles west of Bishop Rock. Five crew were killed, but the remaining 215 on board, including 57 passengers, were rescued by HMS Snowdrop. courtesy of Jay Brice.


Cruise News - May 23, 2022

Carnival Welcomes Two Million Guests Since Restart
As the first major U.S. cruise line with its full fleet back in guest service since the industry’s restart last summer, Carnival Cruise Line has now reached the milestone of welcoming two million guests.

The milestone was commemorated today in Port Canaveral, Fla. aboard Carnival Freedom as the Gibbs family – Daniel and Kristi with son Mason and grandmother Theresa Campbell – from Ocala, Fla. boarded the ship. They were surprised with fanfare from Carnival Freedom’s Captain Mario Imbimbo, Hotel Director, Cruise Director and team members. A video is available here https://youtu.be/iewulbCIWKo.

The company’s industry pace-setting restart began on July 3, 2021 when Carnival Vista set sail from Galveston and since then 22 additional ships have resumed service, from 13 U.S. homeports all while guests were helping to raise $2.25 million for partner, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

In addition, during this time, guests have taken more than 1.3 million shore excursions in Carnival’s destination ports, and two million Carnival-branded items have been sold in the gift shops fleetwide, including 150,000 items from the line’s 50th Birthday collection.

“We are so pleased to have sailed two million guests since our restart, providing much-needed vacations featuring our signature fun to an array of destinations in the Caribbean, The Bahamas, the Mexican Riviera, Alaska and Europe,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “All the while, providing an economic boost to those destinations and providing our crew members with opportunities to support their families.”

Carnival will restart in its 14th homeport of New York City in June with Carnival Magic and has announced plans that Carnival Splendor will restart in Australia following its Alaska season with a three-day cruise departing Sydney on October 2, 2022. And in November, Carnival’s newest ship, Carnival Celebration, featuring a roller coaster and powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), will debut in Miami.

Norwegian Cruise Line Celebrates Norwegian Escape's Successful Return to Europe
Norwegian Cruise Line marks the successful return of Norwegian Escape, the first ship of the Brand’s highly successful Breakaway-Plus Class, to Europe since 2015 as she completed her first voyage to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Norwegian Escape is NCL’s largest ship in Europe and the first Breakaway-Plus Class ship to sail in European waters for a full-length season. She homeports in Civitavecchia, Rome, offering sailings ranging from seven to 11 nights. Each voyage offers unforgettable itineraries across multiple countries, such as the August 13 sailing which will provide guests with the opportunity to explore ports in Italy, Greece, Malta and France - four sun-pampered Mediterranean countries.

The ship’s itineraries feature calls at the most sought-after ports in the region, including Santorini, Mykonos, Naples, and Livorno, and hidden gems, such as Valletta and Messina. Docking at five to eight ports for up to 13 hours and no more than two days at sea, guests can spend their days exploring ancient ruins and medieval architecture, admiring artistic masterpieces, or simply savouring a variety of local cuisine.

Norwegian Escape will also debut NCL’s popular Meet the Winemaker Series in Europe as she sails around the Greek Isles and Italy. The July 17 sailing will feature Certified Angus Beef and notable winemaker Antonio Hidalgo, from the family-owned Spanish Sherry house Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana. The October 17 edition will be hosted by globally recognised Sandro Bottega of Bottega S.p.A.

“Europe has always been a bucket list destination for travellers from all over the globe and is a key cruise destination for NCL,” said Harry Sommer, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We strive to offer our new and loyal guests a wide range of destinations and itineraries. We’re excited that this year’s Europe season is our most extensive to date with eight ships and more than 100 ports of call. Our Guest First philosophy compels us to put our guests at the heart of every decision and development we make, which is why we continue to innovate our product offering, as we have done for the last 55 years.”

Including Norwegian Escape, a total of eight NCL ships are sailing in European waters this summer season. NCL’s fleet will be calling at more European ports than any other contemporary cruise line, offering guests greater choice than ever before. Norwegian Prima, the newest member of NCL’s fleet and first in the ground-breaking Prima Class, will also be debuting in European water this year. NCL’s eight ships for the European summer 2022 cruise season are Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Jade, Norwegian Star and Norwegian Prima. NCL is offering travellers an extensive range of itineraries this summer, from touring ancient ruins in the Greek Isles, cruising the Norwegian Fjords, to soaking up some Mediterranean sunshine.

‘Indiana Jones of the Deep’ Bound for Exclusive Speaker Appearance With Cunard
Maritime archaeologist, Mensun Bound, who made headlines across the world in March with the discovery of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance, will head out to sea again this summer to talk exclusively to Cunard guests.

Bound will join Queen Mary 2 in Southampton for a 7-night Transatlantic Crossing on June 24, 2022, before arriving in New York on July 2. Returning in 2023, the maritime archaeologist will join Queen Elizabeth for a 13-night voyage from Alaska to San Francisco, taking in some of the world’s most breath-taking scenery and wildlife.

“It is a huge honor to welcome Mensun Bound on board our flagship Queen Mary 2 so soon after his historical expedition captured the world’s attention,” said Matt Gleaves, Vice President, Commercial, Cunard, North America and Australasia. “I know our guests will be enthralled by his first-hand account of his Endurance 22 expedition, as well as his extraordinary, decades-spanning career.”

In his role as Trustee of the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust, the maritime archaeologist from Oxford was the Director of Exploration for the team of crack deep-ocean robotic technologists that, on March 5, 2022, discovered the most storied shipwreck of them all, three kilometers beneath the perennial sea ice of Antarctica.

Crushed by pack ice, the ship sank in 1915 at the heart of what Shackleton himself called ‘the worst portion of the worst sea on earth.’ In an exclusive talk and Q&A on board Queen Mary 2 in June, Bound will talk publicly for the first time since returning from his historical expedition. Discussing his remarkable career, Bound will reveal how they penetrated the pack to find ‘the world’s most unreachable wreck,’ the iconic Endurance, upright and in a superb state of preservation on the mysterious abyssal plain of the Weddell Sea.

Bound, said: “It’s been the most extraordinary few months with my feet yet to touch the ground since the Endurance 22 Expedition concluded. To find a vessel of such historical significance is something that is hard to truly capture in a few words. However, I am very much looking forward to joining Queen Mary 2 and sharing my excitement and experiences for the first time with Cunard’s guests.”

Born in the Falkland Islands, Mensun Bound was the Triton Fellow in Maritime Archaeology at St. Peter’s College, Oxford, and the director of the first academic unit for underwater archaeology in England. Known as the ‘Indiana Jones of the Deep,’ Bound has conducted wreck surveys and excavations all over the world in a career that has spanned 40 years.

Carnival Corporation & plc Announces Pricing of $1.0 Billion Senior Unsecured Notes
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL;NYSE: CUK) today announced that Carnival Corporation (the "Company") has priced the private offering of $1.0 billion aggregate principal amount of 10.5% senior unsecured notes due 2030 (the "Senior Unsecured Notes"). The offering of the Senior Unsecured Notes is expected to close on May 25, 2022, subject to customary closing conditions.

The Senior Unsecured Notes will pay interest semi-annually on June 1 and December 1 of each year, beginning on December 1, 2022, at a rate of 10.5% per year and are callable beginning June 1, 2025. The Senior Unsecured Notes will be unsecured and will mature on June 1, 2030.

The Senior Unsecured Notes will be fully and unconditionally guaranteed on an unsecured basis, jointly and severally, by Carnival plc and certain of the Company's and Carnival plc's subsidiaries that own or operate vessels and material intellectual property and that guarantee certain of the Company's other indebtedness, including its first-priority secured indebtedness and second-priority secured indebtedness.

The Company expects to use the net proceeds of the offering to make scheduled principal payments on debt during fiscal 2023 and for general corporate purposes, including, without limitation, making repayments of its indebtedness, the financing or refinancing of a portion of the purchase price, rental payments, costs and expenses related to certain of its current and future property, plant and equipment (including leased assets and vessels) and their maintenance, repair, replacement and improvements, as well as any other payments related to its vessels' ready-for-sea costs, in each case to the extent such amounts are not covered by the Company's existing and future export credit facilities.

University of Florida and Carnival Study Finds Shift in Travelers’ Priorities for This Summer
In a social listening study of 21.3 million online uses of key travel terms, the University of Florida’s Agency at UF in partnership with Carnival Cruise Line found travelers are now caring more about who they travel with, as opposed to the where they go when planning their vacations.

This is evidenced by the fact that about one in five mentions of summer vacation include a reference to doing everything together and spending quality time with loved ones, whether that be family members, a significant other or friends.

“What we perceived anecdotally has been confirmed by a dive into the language that Americans are using around travel,” said Dr. Rachel Fu, Director of the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute and Chair of the Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management at the University of Florida. “Americans’ ideal destination for summer travel can now best be summed up as “anywhere and everywhere,” with few expressing enthusiasm for specific locations, and instead committing to bringing besties, significant others and family along to… wherever.”

About one in 10 mentions of summer vacation hint at a tropical, sunny or beach locale, but otherwise, destination specifics are sparse. Travel chatter indicates a desire for trips jam-packed with multiple stops, attractions and activities.

Americans are now longing for an “awaycation” as well, which to them means anywhere outside of their home, as opposed to a “staycation,” a term that had been wildly used for the past two years but has dropped significantly since 2020 and 41% year over year.

“Bringing loved ones together for a fun-filled, stress-free vacation is what we do, so we are happy to find that today’s traveler is craving just that,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “On a Carnival cruise, we take care of all of the details – transportation, dining, entertainment, and much more – so that our guests can focus on what’s really important – quality time with those they love. From bucket list vacations and long weekend getaways to milestone celebrations and multi-generational reunions, our cruises are about creating memorable vacations together. We are as eager to continue welcoming our guests back on board throughout the summer as they are to sail.”

And to no surprise, the pent-up demand for travel is at an all-time high. Confidence in travel has increased 58% since January, and about 63% of mentions expressed optimism about the changing travel landscape for 2022.

“Many indicators point to a 2022 summer travel season that will meet and exceed pre-pandemic levels as vacationers feel more eager than ever to reclaim the opportunities for memory-making that only travel provides,” added Dr. Fu.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 13.11 - 6.96%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 55.38 - 9.79%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 15.10 - 6.15%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What ever became of Cunard's Carpathia that became famous for rescuing the survivors of Titanic?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which cruise ship was intended to be named "Future Seas" before being transferred to another cruise line and entering service under a different name.

Answer - FUTURE SEAS entered service as NORDIC EMPRESS, reamed EMPRESS of the SEAS, EMPRESS, NORDIC EMPRESS and finally EMPRESS for Cordelia Cruises. courtesy of Richard MacGregory.


Cruise News - May 16, 2022

Margaritaville at Sea Sets Sail with Surprise Poolside Jimmy Buffett Concert; Christening Ceremony
Margaritaville at Sea, the all-new floating island vacation, made a star-studded debut, welcoming several hundred VIPs, partners, community members and travel advisors for the official christening of its flagship vessel, Margaritaville at Sea Paradise. The exciting one-night sailing included a traditional christening ceremony and a surprise live concert with singer, songwriter and best-selling author Jimmy Buffett.

The christening ceremony for Margaritaville at Sea Paradise was held at the Stars on the Water Theater, where John Cohlan, CEO of Margaritaville, Oneil Khosa, CEO of Margaritaville at Sea and Kevin Sheehan Jr, President of Margaritaville at Sea spoke about their partnership and participated in a traditional bottle-breaking ceremony to officially christen the ship.

"This journey has not been an easy one, and we've battled many challenges, but the best part about Margaritaville at Sea is that this product is so truly innovative, we only have ourselves to compete with, as we push to deliver an unprecedented experience to travelers that gets better and better," said Oneil Khosa, chief executive officer of Margaritaville at Sea. "It is an honor to celebrate this important milestone as we embark upon a new chapter as Margaritaville at Sea. This is a moment to remember, and we are fortunate to have so many friends, family members and valued partners onboard with us to mark the occasion."

John Cohlan, CEO of Margaritaville, added "we are excited to celebrate this watershed moment, pun intended, and the much-anticipated debut of Margaritaville at Sea. On behalf of the Margaritaville family, I'd like to thank everyone that helped us get here and we look forward to many years of smooth sailing ahead."

As part of the christening ceremony, NFL Game Changer Award winner Shaquem Griffin was introduced as Godfather. As he spoke about what the title means to him, Griffin said, "it is an honor to serve as an extension of the amazing Margaritaville family and to be chosen as the godfather of Margaritaville at Sea Paradise. This company has continually strived to be better than it was before, and I am proud to be onboard as part of the journey."

After Griffin spoke, Pastor Christine Bandy-Helderman blessed the ship. A video was shown depicting the ship's transformation and preparation to be christened. In an emotional moment, Margaritaville at Sea President Kevin Sheehan, Jr. acknowledged his parents and spoke about the journey of their family cruise business before sharing a list of nationalities represented by the ship's crew and encouraging guests to honor crew members from the Ukraine – including the ship's captain and staff captain. The ceremony ended with a celebratory moment, as attendees were covered in streamers and beach balls.

After the christening ceremony, guests were treated to a Margaritaville at Sea sail-away party, where they were transported into a Margaritaville state of mind with a surprise hour-long live performance by Jimmy Buffett, including fan favorites like "Margaritaville" and "Cheeseburger in Paradise."

Later, guests attended an exclusive preview of 'Tales from Margaritaville: Jimmy's Ship Show,' written and produced by Buffett and producer Frank Marshall, and enjoyed a selection of dining options including JWB Prime Steakhouse, Margaritaville's signature laid-back luxe dining experience. The night ended with games, salsa dancing lessons, a tropical glow party and a Caribbean-themed pool deck soirée under the stars.

On May 14th, following the christening and private inaugural sailing, Margaritaville at Sea Paradise set sail on her first passenger sailing. The ship provided travelers access to Margaritaville's iconic lifestyle during two-night, round-trip, voyage from the Port of Palm Beach to Grand Bahama Island, including lively onboard entertainment and gourmet food and beverage options. Those looking to extend their stay in paradise can book the line's "Cruise & Stay" package, which conveniently bundles a round-trip cruise with up to four nights at a premium beachfront resort on Grand Bahama Island.

Viking Takes Delivery of Newest Ocean Ship
Viking today announced it has taken delivery of the company's newest ocean ship, the Viking Mars. The delivery ceremony took place this morning when the ship was presented at Fincantieri's shipyard in Ancona, Italy. The Viking Mars will now make her way to Valletta, Malta, where she will be officially named on May 17, 2022—Norwegian Constitution Day—by her ceremonial godmother, Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the Countess of Carnarvon. The ship will then sail itineraries in the Mediterranean, Scandinavia and Northern Europe before repositioning at the end of the year for voyages around Australia and New Zealand.

"As we celebrate our 25th anniversary and a year of important milestones for Viking, today we are very proud to welcome the newest ocean ship to our award-winning fleet," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "Lady Carnarvon has honored us by serving as godmother to the Viking Mars, and we look forward to welcoming guests on board this beautiful new sister ship in the coming weeks."

Viking and Highclere Castle

For years Viking has offered a variety of ways for its guests to experience life at Highclere Castle, which is the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. Highclere Castle is known as the filming location of Downton Abbey, and Viking became a household name during its sponsorship of the celebrated series MASTERPIECE through the years Downton Abbey aired on PBS. Viking Executive Vice President Karine Hagen worked closely with the Carnarvon family to develop Privileged Access Pre/Post Extensions that feature the estate, including the highly-rated Oxford & Highclere Castle and Great Homes, Gardens & Gin extensions, both of which are available for guests on select river and ocean voyages. Also, for guests on the popular Pharaohs & Pyramids Nile River itinerary, Viking offers the five-day British Collections of Ancient Egypt Pre Extension, which gives guests an introduction to Egyptian antiquities in preparation for their Nile experience—and includes retracing the steps of the world's most famous Egyptologist, Howard Carter, and his benefactor, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon. Guests experience Privileged Access to archives and museum exhibits not normally accessible to the public, and at Highclere Castle, have the opportunity to view the Earl's magnificent private collection of Egyptian artifacts.

Lady Carnarvon has also welcomed viewers to Highclere Castle on Viking's award-winning enrichment channel, Viking.TV (www.viking.tv). In her ongoing series, At Home at Highclere, Lady Carnarvon offers virtual Privileged Access to the historic home and its grounds. In the past two years, she has led more than 20 virtual tours and offered glimpses of life at her home. Additionally, Lady Carnarvon has served as godmother to a Viking Longship, the Viking Skadi, which sails Viking's popular itineraries on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers.

The Viking Mars

The delivery of the Viking Mars comes as Viking continues to mark its 25th anniversary. In January 2022, the company launched Viking Expeditions and its first purpose-built Polar Class vessel, the Viking Octantis; in March 2022, the company named eight new European river ships during a special event in Paris. By the end of the year, Viking will have also welcomed a second identical expedition ship, another identical ocean ship, and new purpose-built vessels for the Nile, Mekong and Mississippi rivers.

The Viking Mars is the newest ship in Viking's award-winning ocean fleet of identical sister ships. Classified by Cruise Critic as "small ships," Viking's ocean vessels have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, with 465 staterooms that can host 930 guests; the ships feature all veranda staterooms, Scandinavian design, light-filled public spaces and abundant al fresco dining options.

Holland America Line's Zaandam Returns to Service
Holland America Line's Zaandam returned to service Thursday, May 12, 2022, at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, leaving just one more ship until the cruise line's full fleet is operational again. Zaandam embarked guests for a nine-day Atlantic Coast cruise to Montreal, Canada, that will position it in Canada/New England through October. Not only is this a return to service for Zaandam, but it also marks a return to cruising in the Canada/New England region after a two-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To commemorate the occasion, Holland America Line held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the terminal to open embarkation, attended by the ship's captain and senior officers, with flag-waving fanfare from team members lined up to greet guests as they boarded the ship.

"With Zaandam's reentry into service, we are thrilled to not only have nearly our full fleet back, but also to return Canada and New England after two years away from this beautiful cruising destination," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "Zaandam has some special cruises coming up, and we're glad to have her back in service with an amazing team ready to give our guests an exceptional cruise experience."

Following the repositioning cruise along the east coast of North America, Zaandam will spend the summer and early fall offering Canada and New England cruises between Boston, Massachusetts, and Montreal.

On July 9, Zaandam sets sail on the popular 35-day Voyage of the Vikings itinerary roundtrip from Boston that retraces the routes of past explorers with ports in Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway and the Netherlands. Following fall foliage cruises between Boston and Montreal, Zaandam embarks guests Oct. 10 for the 71-day Grand Africa Voyage that sails roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale and includes 25 ports of call, four overnights and countless safari opportunities to throughout the African continent.

After the Grand Africa Voyage, Zaandam will spend the holidays in the Caribbean and then offer a series of Panama Canal transits between San Diego, California, and Fort Lauderdale, with two Mexico options roundtrip from San Diego in March. The ship will return to Canada/New England next spring.

Since Holland America Line restarted cruising in July 2021, Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Noordam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam and Zuiderdam have returned to service with cruises in Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, California Coast and South Pacific. Volendam currently is under charter by the government of the Netherlands, positioned alongside in Rotterdam accommodating Ukrainian families.

Holland America Line will complete the restart of the fleet June 12 with Westerdam in Seattle, Washington.

Carnival Cruise Line Breaks Ground on New Cruise Port Destination on Grand Bahama Island
With a strong showing of validation of the cruise industry's return and optimism, and reflecting a long-standing partnership between Carnival Cruise Line and The Bahamas, Carnival, in cooperation with the Grand Bahama Port Authority and the Government of The Bahamas, today held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new cruise port destination on Grand Bahama Island.

Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy; Bahamas Prime Minister The Honourable Philip Davis; Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister The Honourable I. Chester Cooper; Minister for Grand Bahama The Honourable Ginger Moxey; and The Grand Bahama Port Authority Acting Chairman Sarah St. George; along with Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald and representatives from Carnival Corporation and the local community used ceremonial shovels to officially mark the beginning of construction.

"With the start of this Carnival project, Grand Bahama is now on the better side of reaching its true economic potential," said The Honourable Philip Davis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas. "This investment will provide much needed jobs but will also signal new hope for the island's recovery."

The new Carnival Grand Bahama cruise port destination, expected to open in late 2024, is being developed on the south side of the island and will continue to serve as a gateway to Grand Bahama while also offering guests a uniquely Bahamian experience with many exciting features and amenities, along with business opportunities for the residents of Grand Bahama.

"As we celebrate our 50-year partnership with The Bahamas, today's groundbreaking on our incredible new Grand Bahama destination represents an opportunity to collaborate with the government and people of Grand Bahama – to contribute to the local economy through job and business opportunities, meaningfully engage with local communities, and further expand our experience offerings for our guests who will have a breathtaking new port of call to enjoy," said Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy. "Our sincere thanks to the government of The Bahamas and The Grand Bahama Port Authority for their continued support as we begin construction. Our guests already love The Bahamas, and we are certain this new project will give them even more reason to want to visit."

The Grand Bahama Port Authority Acting Chairman Sarah St. George commented: "The new Carnival cruise port destination will have a monumental impact on our island's economy, including a panoply of new business opportunities, a huge surge in tourist visitors, as well as increased activities for established businesses. It is transformational in the true sense of the word. We are immensely grateful to Carnival for choosing Freeport and Grand Bahama for this flagship project. Today, we mark this incredible achievement made possible by the efforts of Carnival with The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Port Group Limited, the Grand Bahama Development Company and Freeport Harbour Company, and the Government of The Bahamas. A project of this magnitude is only possible through genuine collaboration. Grand Bahamians have withstood life-changing challenges, particularly in recent years. Despite these, Carnival never wavered in their commitment to building their next cruise port in Freeport. We are very proud to have played our part to the best of our ability towards making this a reality."

The cruise port development includes a pier able to accommodate up to two Excel-class ships simultaneously welcoming guests to a stunning white-sand beach The Bahamas are known for. Guests will be able to explore and enjoy Grand Bahama by way of sea, via a dedicated shore excursion dock, or by land, via the dedicated ground transportation hub. The cruise port itself will also feature an area designated as a nature reserve and an interior pool feature, along with many Bahamian-operated retail, food and beverage options for guests to enjoy.

"The Carnival groundbreaking is very significant to the residents of Grand Bahama. This development signals opportunities for creatives, vendors, and small and medium sized businesses, and represents our commitment to collaboration with local and international partners for the betterment of our island," said The Honourable Ginger M. Moxey, Minister for Grand Bahama.

The cruise pier will allow Grand Bahama to welcome guests from Carnival's larger ships, such as the 5,282-passenger Mardi Gras, which debuted in 2021 as the line's largest and most innovative ship and North America's first cruise ship powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), and Carnival Celebration, sister ship to Mardi Gras, which will begin sailing from Miami later this year.

Added Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism, Investment and Aviation The Honourable I. Chester Cooper: "The cruise port is an integral part of our plan to restore Grand Bahama to economic viability. Carnival will play a critical role in stimulating our economy and shining a light on Grand Bahama as a rejuvenated and premier destination in our country and the region. We believe the excitement of what is happening on Grand Bahama will be contagious."

Sitka Dock Kicks Off 2022 Cruise Season with New Terminal
Sitka Dock welcomed Royal Caribbean International's Ovation of the Seas and Princess Cruises' Royal Princess, two of the largest cruise ships to visit Alaska, to port on Saturday, May 7, marking the start of a full cruise season after two years of pandemic interruptions. Ready to greet this season's cruise travelers is the newly constructed Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal, a 40,000-square-foot timber-framed facility featuring local retail shops and restaurants, an outdoor covered terrace and a departure point for land- and water-based shore excursions.

Five years in the making, the completion of this dock expansion positions Sitka as the premier port-of-call for Alaska. The 1,300-foot dock is designed to accommodate two 1,000-foot neo-Panamax-class cruise ships, with a total capacity of 8,000 guests.

"We're thrilled to welcome summer 2022 cruise passengers with this state-of-the-art dock and facility," said Chris McGraw, owner of Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal. "The dock and terminal are located about five miles outside of downtown Sitka; not only does this create a more seamless departure for water- and land-based tours, it keeps the ships mostly out of locals' day-to-day views and eases downtown traffic."

The terminal has six retail stores and two restaurants, all locally owned. A shuttle for cruise guests between the terminal and downtown Sitka is designed to load up to four 60-passenger motor coaches at a time.

"More than half of all visitors coming to Alaska arrive by cruise ship. Here in Sitka, the revenue generated from cruise ship travel benefits every level of our local economy, supporting retail and tour operators, restaurant owners and local government, as well as fuel companies, grocery stores, property rentals and even seafood processors," said McGraw. "A thriving travel economy allows Sitka to continue to be a vibrant city with every opportunity for families to live, work and play."

"The Sitka community has worked incredibly hard to prepare its residents and destination partners to accommodate the arrival of cruise guests who are seeking special Alaska vacation memories in one of the world's top destinations," said Royal Caribbean Group Director of Destination Development, Alaska and West Coast, Preston Carnahan. "The Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal is a testament to how business alliances and community engagement can result in sustainable development of first-class marine and guest experience infrastructure. Sitkans, elected officials and tour operators have diligently planned for this season and I am excited for our guests to experience the beauty and uniqueness Sitka offers."

"We celebrate the opening of the Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal, knowing the importance of our business in Alaska as well as that of the port communities and small businesses," said Robert Morgenstern, senior vice president of shore excursions, port operations serving Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Seabourn. "This is our 75th year taking visitors to Alaska and we love everything about this great state. Holland America Line, Princess and Seabourn ships will make over 50 calls to Sitka this 2022 season, part of the itineraries of our Alaska sailings that are central to our brands."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.09 - 0.35%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 61.39 - 0.03%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 16.09 + 0.88%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which cruise ship was intended to be named "Future Seas" before being transferred to another cruise line and entering service under a different name.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 carries a distictive item that was originally installed on board the original Queen Mary which is now serving as a hotel in Long Beach, California. What is this distinctive item?

Answer - Her steam whistle was moved from QUEEN MARY to QUEEN MARY 2. courtesy of Richard MacGregory.


Cruise News - May 9, 2022

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Reports $1,6 Billion Fourth Quarter Loss
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2021 and provided a business update.

“We launched our Great Cruise Comeback in late July 2021 and in five short months, the teams at Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises have restarted operations on 75% of our capacity, safely carrying over 230,000 guests and delivering the unique vacation experiences that our award-winning cruise brands are famous for,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “These last few months have also had their share of challenges caused by the impacts from the Delta and Omicron COVID surges, but despite these challenges which were mostly out of our control, our booked position and pricing remain strong, particularly for the second half of 2022 and into 2023, demonstrating the strong fundamental demand for our cruise offerings.”

Resumption of Cruise Operations

NCL said that it continues to execute on the phased relaunch plans for its 28-ship fleet. Beginning in December 2021, the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, with its increased transmissibility, caused several operational challenges and disruptions, including additional travel restrictions, increased health-related protocols, and certain port closures, which led to the temporary and voluntary cancellation of certain voyages in the fourth quarter of 2021 and first quarter of 2022, and the postponement of the restart of certain of our vessels. By year end 2021, NCL said that it had approximately 70% of its capacity operating, or 75% when including a vessel that had returned to service and subsequently paused due to the inoperability of its scheduled voyages in South Africa during the height of its Omicron surge. Strong ticket pricing and onboard revenue spend drove positive contribution from the fleet that operated in the quarter. Occupancy in the fourth quarter of 2021 was 51.4% reflecting the Company’s self-imposed occupancy limits, the effect of COVID-related booking cancellations and a significant capacity increase from the prior quarter.

As a result of Omicron-related disruptions, NCL said that it now expects to have 85% of its capacity operating by the end of the first quarter of 2022 with the full fleet expected to be back in operation during the early part of the second quarter of 2022. In addition, NCL said that it expects to reach a critical inflection point during the second quarter of 2022 with net cash provided by operating activities turning positive. Based on the current booked position and trajectory, NCL said that it expects to have positive Adjusted Net Income1 for the second half of 2022.

All voyages across the Company’s three brands continue to operate under our robust science-backed SailSAFE health and safety program. As part of this program, our policy requires our entire crew and all guests age 12 and over be fully vaccinated. In addition, our comprehensive SailSAFE protocols include universal COVID-19 testing prior to embarkation. NCL said that it’s stringent vaccination policy applies across all voyages on its three brands as NCL said that it believes this is the safest way to operate in the current global public health environment. In 2021, NCL said that it’s brands safely carried over 230,000 guests who had prevalence rates vastly lower than what has been experienced on land during the pandemic. These health and safety measures will be continuously evaluated and modified, with guidance from the SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council, as science, technology and the prevalence of COVID-19 evolve.

NCL said that it has informed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of its three brands opting into the agency’s COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships Operating in U.S. Waters, the agency’s voluntary COVID-19 risk mitigation program for foreign-flagged cruise ships operating in U.S. waters.

Booking Environment and Outlook

Net booking volumes at the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2021 continued to demonstrate substantial week-over-week sequential growth after the slowdown in booking activity caused by the Delta variant of COVID-19. Net booking volumes in the latter part of the fourth quarter of 2021 began to be negatively impacted by the Omicron variant of COVID-19, primarily for close-in voyages in the first and second quarters of 2022. In recent weeks, as the Omicron wave subsided, net booking trends have improved sequentially. As a result, NCL said that it’s current cumulative booked position for the first half of 2022 is below the extraordinarily strong levels of 2019 at substantially higher prices even when including the dilutive impact of future cruise credits (FCCs), while booked position for the second half, when the full fleet is expected to be back in operation, is in line with the comparable 2019 period and at higher prices, also including the impact of FCCs. Booked position for each quarter compared to the comparable quarter in 2019 improves sequentially through the year. Booking trends for 2023 demonstrate continued strong demand for sailings in the medium and longer term with booked position and pricing meaningfully higher and at record levels when compared to bookings for 2020 in 2019.

NCL said that it’s advance ticket sales balance was $1.8 billion, including the long-term portion, which includes approximately $0.7 billion of FCCs as of December 31, 2021. Gross advance ticket sales build was approximately $0.7 billion during the quarter, partially offset by over $0.4 billion in revenue recognized for completed voyages and the remaining reduction due to refunds and customer deposits from cancelled voyages announced in January 2022 which were reclassified to refunds payable at year-end.

“Momentum continues building as we approach 85% of our capacity expected to be in operation at the end of the first quarter. We are keenly focused on executing our financial plan on the path to our next significant milestone as we expect to achieve positive Operating Cash Flow in the second quarter,” said Mark A. Kempa, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “We continue to be opportunistic in accessing the capital markets to optimize our capital structure by eliminating high-cost debt incurred during the crisis.”

Full Year 2021 Results

GAAP net loss was $(4.5) billion or EPS of $(12.33) compared to a net loss of $(4.0) billion or EPS of $(15.75) in the prior year. NCL said that it reported Adjusted Net Loss of $(2.9) billion or Adjusted EPS of $(8.07) in 2021. This compares to Adjusted Net Loss and Adjusted EPS of $(2.2) billion and $(8.64), respectively, in 2020.

Total revenue decreased 49.4% to $0.6 billion in 2021 compared to $1.3 billion in 2020. The adverse impact on revenue was due to the suspension of all cruise voyages in March 2020 through the first half of 2021 and the phased relaunch of certain cruise voyages with ships initially operating at reduced occupancy levels in the second half of 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in a decrease in Capacity Days of 18.1%.

Total cruise operating expense decreased 5.0% in 2021 to $1.6 billion compared to $1.7 billion in 2020. In 2021, our cruise operating expenses prior to the resumption of cruise voyages were primarily related to crew costs, including salaries, food and other travel costs; fuel; and other ongoing costs such as insurance and ship maintenance, including Dry-dock expenses. The reduction in cruise operating expense in 2021 reflects lower direct costs, such as commissions, in the second half of 2021 due to fewer Capacity Days partially offset by increases in expenses related to our return to service, such as costs related to crew and passenger testing for COVID-19.

Fuel price per metric ton, net of hedges increased to $690 from $599 in 2020. NCL said that it reported fuel expense of $301.9 million in 2021.

Interest expense, net was $2.1 billion in 2021 compared to $482.3 million in 2020. The increase in 2021 primarily reflects losses on extinguishment of debt and debt modification costs of $1.4 billion related to the repurchase of certain exchangeable notes as well as additional debt outstanding at higher interest rates, partially offset by lower LIBOR. 2020 included losses on extinguishment of debt and debt modification costs of $27.8 million.

Other income (expense), net was income of $124.0 million in 2021 compared to expense of $(33.6) million in 2020. In 2021, the income primarily related to gains from derivatives not designated as hedges and foreign currency exchange.

Income tax expense was $5.3 million in 2021 compared to $12.5 million in 2020. In 2020, the tax expense is primarily due to a valuation allowance of $39.6 million recognized in the fourth quarter on certain net operating loss carryforwards partially offset by tax benefits generated by operating losses.

Fourth Quarter 2021 Results

GAAP net loss was $(1.6) billion or EPS of $(4.01) compared to net loss of $(0.7) billion or EPS of $(2.51) in the prior year. NCL said that it reported Adjusted Net Loss of $(765.0) million or Adjusted EPS of $(1.95) in 2021. This compares to Adjusted Net Loss and Adjusted EPS of $(683.8) million and $(2.33), respectively, in 2020.

Revenue increased to $487.4 million compared to $9.6 million in 2020 as cruise voyages resumed in the quarter.

Total cruise operating expense increased 246.7% in 2021 compared to 2020 as cruise voyages continued to resume in the quarter. In 2021, cruise operating expenses were primarily related to crew costs, including salaries, food and other travel costs as ships were prepared to return to service, fuel, costs related to health and safety protocols and other ongoing costs such as insurance and ship maintenance.

Fuel price per metric ton, net of hedges, increased to $737 from $574 in 2020. NCL said that it reported fuel expense of $125.9 million in the period.

Interest expense, net was $950.0 million in 2021 compared to $159.2 million in 2020. The increase in interest expense primarily reflects losses on extinguishment of debt and debt modification costs of $771.6 million related to the repurchase of certain exchangeable notes as well as additional debt outstanding at higher interest rates, partially offset by lower LIBOR.

Other income (expense), net was income of $66.5 million in 2021 compared to expense of $(1.3) million in 2020. In 2021, the income primarily related to gains from derivatives not designated as hedges and foreign currency exchange.

Holland America Line's Oosterdam Back to Cruising
Holland America Line welcomed its ninth ship back into service Sunday, May 8, as Oosterdam embarked guests in Trieste (Venice), Italy, for the first time since the industrywide pause began in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ship departed on a 12-day "Holy Lands and Ancient Kingdoms" cruise that includes an overnight at Haifa, Israel, and additional ports in Israel and Greece.

To commemorate the occasion, Holland America Line held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the terminal to open embarkation, attended by the ship's captain and senior officers, with flag-waving fanfare from team members lined up to greet guests as they boarded the ship.

"Our teams work incredibly hard getting the ships ready for a return to service, and the smiles when they see our guests walking up the gangway that first time are so heartfelt and sincere," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "Each ship back to cruising means more team members back to sea, and we look forward to the restart being complete next month."

Since Holland America Line restarted cruising in July 2021, Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Noordam, Rotterdam and Zuiderdam have returned to service with cruises in Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, California Coast and South Pacific. Volendam currently is under charter by the government of the Netherlands, positioned alongside in Rotterdam accommodating Ukrainian refuges.

Following its first cruise back in service, Oosterdam will spend the summer in the Mediterranean, offering seven- to 19-day itineraries roundtrip from Trieste (Venice), and between Trieste and Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; or Barcelona, Spain. The ship will explore the entire region with ports in Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Montenegro, Croatia, Albania and Malta.

After the Mediterranean season, Oosterdam departs on a transatlantic crossing to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, before heading through the Panama Canal and down the western coast of South America to position for a winter season of cruises around the tip of the continent between San Antonio (Santiago), Chile, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. The 14-day itinerary will journey to ports in Chile and Argentina, including the coveted Falkland Islands, along with cruising in the Strait of Magellan, Glacier Alley and Cape Horn. Three 22-day itineraries add four memorable days of scenic cruising in Antarctica.

Holland America Line will complete the restart of the remaining ships in the fleet through June with Zaandam (May 12 in Fort Lauderdale) and Westerdam (June 12 in Seattle, Washington).

Three Additional Princess Cruises Ships Return to Service
Three additional Princess Cruises ships are returning to service welcoming guests back onboard – Crown Princess, Island Princess and Royal Princess. This milestone marks a total of 12 ships, 80 percent of the fleet, that will have resumed cruising since July 2021, for the world's leading international cruise line.

Island Princess departed Ft. Lauderdale on April 27 on a Panama Canal cruise; Royal Princess sailed from Vancouver on May 2 for the popular "Voyage of the Glaciers" Alaska season; and Crown Princess is scheduled to depart Seattle on May 7 for a summer program of Inside Passage Alaska cruises.

"We're so excited to have three more Princess MedallionClass ships return to service and our shipboard teams are ready to help our guests create a lifetime of vacation memories," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "It's so gratifying to see tens of thousands of guests each week enjoying their vacations with us and the friendly and attentive service that is a Princess Cruises hallmark."

Island Princess – Panama Canal – Departed Ft. Lauderdale on April 27
Celebrating the 55th anniversary of the cruise line sailing to the engineering marvel of the Panama Canal, Island Princess departed on a 14-day Ocean-to-Ocean Panama Canal voyage from Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles on April 27, and will return on a subsequent voyage from Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale on May 11. Princess first sailed to the Panama Canal in 1967 aboard Princess Italia. Island Princess will then depart Ft. Lauderdale for Europe, sailing various British Isles, Northern Europe (including Iceland and the Arctic Circle) and Mediterranean voyages.

Royal Princess – Alaska – Departed Vancouver on May 2
Sailing on the cruise line's top-rated "Voyage of the Glaciers" itinerary, Royal Princess departs on back-to-back northbound and southbound cruises from Vancouver and Whittier (Anchorage). Every sailing includes two days of glacier viewing featuring Glacier Bay National Park, plus Hubbard Glacier (southbound) or College Fjord (northbound). Port visits include Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway. These cruises can also be combined with one of the cruise line's 20 cruisetour options featuring an unforgettable land tour visiting the magnificent Denali National Park and Princess Wilderness Lodges.

Crown Princess – Alaska – Scheduled to Sail from Seattle on May 7
Departing on Saturdays from Seattle, Crown Princess is scheduled to depart on 19, seven-day Inside Passage voyages to Alaska through September 10, 2022. She will then move to Los Angeles for a season of California Coast and Hawaii sailings.

The cruise line's fleet of 15 ships are currently sailing or are scheduled to return to service by September 2022, to worldwide destinations including Alaska, Australia, the California Coast, Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, Mexico and the Panama Canal. Cruise ships, return dates, 2022 itineraries in chronological order include:

Simone Biles Named Godmother of Celebrity Beyond
Celebrity Cruises announced today that Simone Biles, 19-time World Champion and seven-time Olympic Medalist, will add another very special title to her decorated career – godmother for Celebrity BeyondSM, the industry's most highly anticipated ship of the year that recently debuted in Europe.

A long-standing and highly regarded tradition for new ships, the role of Godmother is to inspire all guests and crew who sail on the ship, and it is considered a lifetime title and honor. In her role as Godmother, Biles will name Celebrity Beyond – the gold standard ship and newest and most luxurious vessel in the Celebrity fleet – at the official ceremony in Fort Lauderdale on November 4, 2022.

For its groundbreaking Edge Series ships, Celebrity is selecting equally transformational and courageous Godmothers who are breaking barriers and championing change in their respective fields. Biles joins Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai and Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code and the Marshall Plan for Moms, who serve as godmothers of Beyond's sister ships Celebrity EdgeTM and Celebrity ApexSM respectively.

"Simone is truly the G.O.A.T inside and outside of the gym, and I'm humbled and thrilled to welcome her as godmother of our newest ship Celebrity Beyond," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises. "While I've marveled at her abilities and historic accomplishments as a gymnast, it's Simone's courage to speak out and her ability to help others be better in sport and in life that has impressed me the most. She has risen to the occasion and overcome challenges time and time again. She is an inspiration."

"I have a lot of great memories of cruising with my parents while growing up, so I am beyond excited to serve as godmother of Celebrity Beyond," said Biles. "I am honored to join such a distinguished group of game-changing women and appreciate the important message this designation holds in recognizing our accomplishments, and hopefully inspiring the next generation of women."

Celebrity Beyond showcases the design talents of multi-award-winning British designer Kelly Hoppen CBE; celebrated American designer Nate Berkus; and lauded Paris-based design firm Jouin Manku; the innovation of British architect Tom Wright; and the culinary gifts of Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud. The ship also features experiences and products from goop CEO and founder Gwyneth Paltrow, the brand's new Well-Being Advisor. The exquisite ship offers a journey at the intersection of elegance and approachability filled with what's important to today's discerning traveler: forward-thinking design, culinary excellence, unparalleled well-being and incomparable service.

Celebrity Beyond began her inaugural season on April 27, 2022 with a 10-night sailing from Southampton, England, to Barcelona, Spain, and will now spend the summer sailing nine-to-10-night itineraries in the Mediterranean. In November, Celebrity Beyond will make her way to Fort Lauderdale for the official naming ceremony and a winter season of five-to-nine-night Caribbean sailings.

Cunard Explores All Corners of the World With New 2023 and 2024 Sailings
Cunard this week unveiled over 110 international voyages, sailing on its iconic fleet between October 23, 2023 and May 14, 2024, including the maiden voyages on new ship Queen Anne.

Across the new itineraries, the four-ship fleet comprising of Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Anne, will call at 126 unique ports in 51 countries, with voyages ranging from two-night city breaks to a 108-night world voyage.

Queen Anne is scheduled to call at more than 32 ports across the world during her maiden season, all sailing out of Southampton. Following her maiden voyage to the enchanting city of Lisbon, the newest Queen will embark on a collection of enticing sailings in the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Northern Europe as well as an Eastbound Transatlantic Crossing.

In 2024, Queen Victoria will embark on a 107-night World Voyage, departing Southampton on a full circumnavigation. The ship will sail westbound to North America, including a transit of the Panama Canal, onwards to Australia, Asia, and returning to Europe via South Africa, visiting 32 unique destinations across her new voyages.

Queen Mary 2, the world's only ocean liner, will begin her season with an Eastbound Transatlantic Crossing from New York, before setting off from Southampton on a 108-night World Voyage. The liner will sail to the Mediterranean, Asia via the Suez Canal, Australia and returning to Europe via South Africa.

Following a fly-cruise season in Barcelona, Queen Elizabeth will relocate to Singapore before starting her Australian residency with a 6-night voyage from Fremantle. She'll then embark on a series of short break and roundtrip voyages from Melbourne and Sydney, including a Christmas and New Year voyage to New Zealand, a 10-night exploration of Queensland, and a new 14-night voyage calling in the South Pacific.

"Announcing each new voyage program for Cunard is always exciting, but this year is even more so, as guests will be able to choose itineraries across four magnificent ships in the fleet for the first time since 1999," said Matt Gleaves, Vice President, Commercial, North America. "Each ship offers a unique experience with distinct itineraries: Queen Anne will be based out of Southampton, Queen Elizabeth out of Australia and Japan, and Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 will both sail world voyages, one with a full circumnavigation and one exploring the finest destinations across the Mediterranean, Asia, Australia and Africa. Our new voyages bring opportunities to explore all corners of the world in luxurious surroundings while enjoying our White Star Service as well as all the other special touches that make a trip with Cunard so special."

Itinerary Highlights: Welcome to The World 2023 & 2024 New Voyages

Maiden Voyage (H403)
Guests can join an illustrious guest list on board Queen Anne's maiden voyage to Lisbon as Cunard celebrates a new chapter of Cunard history. Sailing roundtrip from Southampton on January 4, 2024, this 7-night voyage will offer an overnight port call in which to savour Lisbon's UNESCO-listed Belém Tower, the exquisite palaces of Sintra, and the wonderfully atmospheric nightlife of the Barrio Alto. On her return to Southampton, our newest Queen will be joined by her sister ships Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, marking the first time these three Queens will come together – a fitting end to a voyage filled with celebratory moments. Inside staterooms from $1,899 per person.

Eastern Caribbean (H405)
Guests can relax and take pleasure in all that the newest ship has to offer on this 35-night Caribbean adventure that takes in the tropical islands of Barbados and St Lucia amongst others. Queen Anne departs Southampton January 27, 2024.

Western Mediterranean (H408)
This 16-night voyage comprises a mix of days at sea and time in port, offering the chance to discover the delights on board Cunard's new ship as well as the fascinating histories of Lisbon, Cadiz and Rome. Queen Anne departs Southampton March 29, 2024.

Full World Voyage (V404D)
This stunning 107-night World Voyage offers the perfect opportunity to see the four corners of the world. Destinations including San Francisco and Fiji plus overnights in Hong Kong and South Africa. Queen Victoria departs Southampton January 11, 2024. Inside staterooms from 18,499 per person.

Southampton to Sydney (M403B)
Blissful days at sea on board provide a relaxing balance between time ashore in Portugal, South Africa and Australia on this 47-night sailing that includes three overnight port calls. Queen Mary 2 departs Southampton January 11, 2024.

Queensland (Q405)
The wondrous white sands of the Whitsunday Islands and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Great Barrier Reef are among the natural highlights of this 10-night voyage. Queen Elizabeth departs Sydney January 22, 2024.

Southern Islands (Q417)
The 10-night round trip voyage sailing from Tokyo will transports guests from neon-lit streets to historic shrines, stately castles and natural habitats, abundant with beauty. Queen Elizabeth departs Tokyo May 14, 2024.

From the bustle of vibrant cities, beauty of tropical shores to the wonder of historic treasures, the inspiring new itineraries from Cunard bring an ocean of opportunities to explore all corners of the world.

Royal Caribbean Launches Tiktok Search for Godmother of World's Largest Cruise Ship
Family cruise line Royal Caribbean International is looking for the Godmother of the world's newest wonder, Wonder of the Seas, and the search begins today on TikTok. U.S. users of the popular video-sharing platform can now take part in the #SearchForWonderMom contest by nominating a mom who inspires those around them to discover, wonder and make memories. The call for submissions is open through Monday, May 16, at 11:59 p.m. ET, and the winner will be announced on Royal Caribbean's TikTok this summer.

"The role of a Godmother is an important and longstanding maritime tradition, and it began with naming prominent public figures to now recognizing everyday heroes like moms," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "With a combination of brand-new adventures and signature favorites across entertainment, thrills, dining and nightlife, Wonder of the Seas is designed to inspire wonder and awe in children and travelers of all ages. Moms do just that and more day in and day out."

Wonder's Godmother will have the honor of bestowing a blessing of safekeeping on the ship, its crew and the millions of guests who will sail in the years to come during the new ship's naming ceremony in Port Canaveral, Florida, in December. Plus, the honoree and their family will set sail on an exclusive cruise to the cruise line's private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas, which features 13 waterslides – including the tallest in North America, Daredevil's Peak – private overwater cabanas at the Coco Beach Club escape and the sky-high helium balloon adventure, Up, Up & Away.

What is also in store for the Wonder Mom and their loved ones is an epic vacation, including a 7-night Caribbean sailing on board Wonder in the one-of-a-kind Ultimate Family Suite, first-class flights, three nights in a five-star hotel before the cruise and up to $1,000 in spending money. In addition, four finalists can enjoy all Wonder has to offer on a 7-night cruise in a balcony stateroom for up to four guests.

Entry Guidelines:

• Users must follow @RoyalCaribbean on TikTok.

• Submissions must be posted on TikTok and share why their nominee would be the ideal Godmother for the world's largest cruise ship.

• Uploaded videos must use Royal Caribbean's original #SearchforWonderMom contest audio track pinned on the cruise line's profile.

• Entries must tag @RoyalCaribbean and include #SearchForWonderMom and #Contest

The world's largest cruise ship and Royal Caribbean's latest in the lineup of revolutionary Oasis Class ships, Wonder is primed for memory making with a thoughtfully crafted combination of new adventures and fan favorites across eight unique neighborhoods – a Royal Caribbean first. Highlights include the Suite Neighborhood, the new, eighth neighborhood that welcomes Royal Suite Class guests to an elevated experience; and a brand-new underwater-themed play area for kids, Wonder Playscape, with slides, climbing walls, interactive features, puzzles and more.

Wonder also features more than 40 restaurants, bars and lounges, including The Mason Jar Southern Restaurant & Bar that serves up Southern staples and classics with a twist for brunch and dinner with loved ones, and in the late night, along with live country music and more. Plus, returning favorites like The Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea; the FlowRider surf simulator; rock climbing walls, The Perfect Storm racing waterslides, newly designed areas just for kids and teens; and original entertainment across four "stages": air, ice, water and theater.

Beginning November 2022, Wonder returns stateside to its new year-round home in Port Canaveral, Florida, after a summer in Europe sailing in the Mediterranean. The action-packed ship will set course to idyllic destinations on 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises, including Perfect Day at CocoCay, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Mexico and Honduras.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.14 - 25.11%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 61.41 - 25.46%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 15.95 - 24.91%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 carries a distictive item that was originally installed on board the original Queen Mary which is now serving as a hotel in Long Beach, California. What is this distinctive item?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What do the "Single turn", "Williamson turn" and "Scharnow turn" all have in common (...besides being types of turns, of course)?

Answer - These turns allow a ship turn 180 degrees to retrace its course in times of emergency, such as a "man overboard" call, or to respond to some other emergency that may happened. Once while on a transatlantic crossing our ship had to reverse course to check out an abandoned yacht that faile to answer radio call. courtesy of Larry P. Macdonald Belmont, MA USA


Cruise News - May 2, 2022

Discovery Princess Officially Named by TV Star Godparents
In an imaginative ceremony today at the Port of Los Angeles, television stars and show hosts united as godparents and officially named Discovery Princess. The godparents included fashion designer Randy Fenoli, chef Alex Guarnaschelli, special effects designer and fabricator Adam Savage, and real estate broker and flipper extraordinaire Page Turner.

Standing together at the Retreat Pool on the open deck of Discovery Princess with the ship's Captain Gennaro Arma, they pronounced, "We name this ship Discovery Princess. May God bless her and all who sail on her." They then sent a giant Nebuchadnezzar-size bottle of champagne against the ship for the celebratory smash, officially welcoming Discovery Princess into the fleet of Princess Cruises, the world's leading international cruise line and leader on the west coast.

The "Discover Our World" themed ceremony blended maritime tradition with contemporary elements, celebrating the cruise line's exclusive, seven-year Discovery at SEA™ program – bringing the spirit of curiosity and exploration to every cruise through branded experiences like Shark Week at Sea, exclusive shore excursions and onboard activities such as the Camp Discovery youth centers and Stargazing at SEA.

"Today is a celebration to remember as our newest ship, Discovery Princess, is officially named by this talented group of experts and personalities – Randy, Alex, Adam, and Page," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "We can think of no more fitting godparents to mark this significant milestone."

About Discovery Princess

Discovery Princess expands the cruise line's fleet of MedallionClass ships to 15, offering elegantly appointed accommodations, world-class entertainment, gourmet dining and cocktails, extensive alfresco dining areas and expansive views from the cruise line's largest balconies at sea in the Sky Suites.

The 3,660-guest Discovery Princess was built at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, and is the sixth and final Royal-Class newbuild sharing all of the spectacular style and luxury of her sister ships – Enchanted Princess Sky Princess, Majestic Princess, Regal Princess and Royal Princess.

As part of the leading cruise line on the west coast, Discovery Princess debuted in Los Angeles on March 27, sailing a series of Mexican Riviera and California Coast voyages from March 27 – April 24. After the naming ceremony in Los Angeles on April 29, the ship will head up the Pacific coast to begin a season of seven-day Alaska cruises from Seattle, making her the newest ship sailing in the Alaska region.

With an array of innovative new experiences, guests will enjoy 270-degree sweeping views from the Princess' largest balconies at sea in the Sky Suites, unwind in ultimate comfort at The Sanctuary and indulge the senses with world-class dining options. Plus, Princess live entertainment presents mesmerizing Broadway-style production shows that can only be seen in the state-of-the-art Princess Theater, including the newest show, Spotlight Bar.

In addition, Discovery Princess delivers Princess MedallionClass Vacations which begin with the Medallion™ wearable, a quarter-sized device that enables everything from expedited contactless boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever guests need, delivered directly to them, wherever they are on the ship. In addition, guests can share their favorite cruise moments using MedallionNet, the best Wi-Fi at sea, as well as stay connected with friends and family back home, work remotely anywhere on the ship, quickly post content and stream favorite movies and shows.

Discovery Princess also offers signature Princess venues and amenities including the Piazza, Lotus Spa, The Sanctuary, Movies Under the Stars, Gigi's Pizzeria, Good Spirits at Sea Bar, Vegas-Style Casino, The Shops of Princess, Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Center and Discovery at SEA programs.

Royal Caribbean's Wonder Of The Seas Arrives For European Debut
The world's newest wonder, Royal Caribbean International's Wonder of the Seas, arrived in Barcelona, Spain, to kick off a summer full of memorable holidays in Europe. The fifth in the cruise line's revolutionary Oasis Class line-up sets course for the Mediterranean on 7-night cruises from Barcelona and Rome beginning Sunday, 8th May. With a combination of brand-new thrills and signature favourites on board, Wonder is the getaway where holidaymakers of all ages can make memories as they sail to explore sought-after destinations such as Florence, Naples and Capri, Italy; Provence, France; and Malaga, Spain.

The adventures in store aboard Wonder span eight distinct neighbourhoods – a Royal Caribbean first – that are filled with exhilarating experiences, entertainment, restaurants, bars and lounges to enjoy day and night. Highlights include:

• Suite Neighborhood – The new, eighth neighborhood welcomes Royal Suite Class guests to a private Suite Sun Deck with a plunge pool and bar complemented by stunning ocean views, and several returning favourites: the exclusive restaurant, Coastal Kitchen; the Suite Lounge and the grandest Ultimate Family Suite yet for a family of 10, complete with an in-suite slide, a cinema and karaoke area, table tennis and more across two stories.

• The Mason Jar Southern Restaurant & Bar – Already a guest favourite among Wonder's 40-plus restaurants, bars and lounges, the new hotspot is where Southern comfort food meets Royal Caribbean's hospitality and creativity. Staples and new twists on classics are on the menu for brunch and dinner, and late at night, capped off with live country music, farmhouse-style decor, a collection of whiskeys and Southern cocktails.

• Wonder Playscape – Families with kids will find a brand-new, outdoor adventure designed for precious quality time. Adults can partake in the games or enjoy watching from the sidelines as they take in the ocean views while the young adventurers take on the underwater-themed play area's slides, climbing walls, interactive features that come alive by touch, puzzles and more.

• Fan favourites – A lineup of bold signature experiences are back, including the FlowRider surf simulator, The Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea; the 10-storey-high zip line, and newly designed areas dedicated to kids – Adventure Ocean – and teens, Social100 and The Patio. Plus, awe-inspiring neighbourhoods such as Central Park, with more than 20,000 real plants, and the Boardwalk, that brings together seaside charm and activities for the whole family – from riding the hand-carved carousel to watching the big match and engaging in friendly competition at the arcade in Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade. Also setting the stage for this summer's ultimate holiday is the original entertainment across Wonder's four "stages": air, ice, water and theatre. More than 100 performers and technicians, and cutting-edge technology, come together to bring to life full-scale productions like inTENse, featuring the first all-female cast of aerialists, high divers, slackliners and more in the one-of-a-kind AquaTheater; and The Effectors II: Crash 'n' Burn, debuting this summer, where Royal Caribbean's very own high-tech superheroes – The Effectors – battle it out with their archnemesis to save the planet once again. Wonder's western Mediterranean sailings will continue through October, rounding out a summer splash in Europe with eight action-packed ships, including Odyssey of the Seas – also marking its first season in Europe. In November, Wonder will return to the U.S. to sail from its new year-round home in Port Canaveral, Florida, to explore the Caribbean and The Bahamas, including the cruise line's private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Carnival Cruise Line Is First Major Cruise Line In U.s. To Get Entire Fleet Back To Guest Operations
With the departure of Carnival Splendor from the Port of Seattle today, Carnival Cruise Line celebrates the restart of its entire fleet of ships and Carnival becomes the first major cruise line in the U.S. to achieve that milestone.

Carnival Splendor is the 23rd and final Carnival ship to welcome guests back on board after Carnival's resumption of cruising from the U.S. last July. Guests are set to depart from Seattle, Wash. today on an eight-day Alaska cruise, completing an impressive and successful restart of guest operations and setting the pace for the rest of the U.S. cruise industry. Carnival Splendor's summer itineraries to Alaska are part of a three-ship deployment, along with Carnival Spirit from Seattle and Carnival Miracle from San Francisco – the largest-ever cruise program Carnival has sailed to Alaska.

"With Carnival Splendor beginning operations today from Seattle, Carnival Cruise Line is thrilled to have our entire fleet of 23 ships back in service, providing more opportunities for our guests to enjoy our signature fun while traveling to beautiful vacation destinations," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "We are especially excited to expand our Alaska program this season with three ships bringing more than 100,000 guests – including more than 6,000 this week – from Seattle and San Francisco to awe-inspiring Alaska ports."

To commemorate the line's return to service from Seattle with Carnival Splendor, Carnival Cruise Line hosted its "Back to Fun" event at the Port of Seattle to officially welcome the first guests on board. Duffy checked off Carnival Splendor on a tally board listing the 23 Carnival ships, signifying the completion of the Carnival fleet's restart. Today's departure is one of 49 cruises to Alaska. Destinations include Ketchikan; Sitka; Skagway; Icy Strait Point; Victoria, BC; and scenic cruising through Tracy Arm Fjord (stops vary depending on cruise date).

Beginning with Carnival Vista restarting service on July 3, 2021, in Galveston, Carnival has completed its full fleet return in just 10 months. Carnival is operating from 12 U.S. homeports including Miami, Galveston, Port Canaveral, Long Beach, Baltimore, New Orleans, Tampa, Charleston, Jacksonville, Mobile, Seattle and San Francisco, providing guests with a wide range of cruising options. Additional seasonal service from Norfolk, Va., and New York City will start in May and June respectively.

Holland America Line Adds a Season of New Cruises to Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia
In anticipation of the ports in Australia and New Zealand fully welcoming cruise ships back to their shores, Holland America Line opened bookings for a season of new itineraries aboard Westerdam starting in fall 2022. The new voyages, offered from Sept. 25, 2022, through March 13, 2023, explore Australia's rich culture, the lush landscapes of New Zealand and the enchanting history and culture of Southeast Asia.

Two new cruises conclude the Alaska season and reposition the ship Down Under from North America. Itineraries in Australia and New Zealand sail roundtrip from Sydney, Australia, or between Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand, and include scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park. A special Holiday Cruise departing Dec. 20 celebrates the New Year exploring New Zealand.

"The pent-up demand for cruises to Australia and New Zealand led us to the decision that it would be valuable to have Westerdam sail these unique itineraries that include some uncommon ports for us," said Beth Bodensteiner, chief commercial officer of Holland America Line. "We have the utmost optimism that the entire region will be back to cruising come fall, and our guests have been waiting two years to take their dream cruise. These new itineraries give guests a lot to choose from as they explore this part of the world."

Goodbye, Alaska! Hello, Australia and New Zealand

Holland America Line added a seven-day Alaska cruise roundtrip from Seattle, Washington, departing Sept. 25, extending Westerdam's season by a week. The ship will then spend 36 days weaving among the enchanting isles of the South Pacific en route to Australia's southern and eastern regions, and the North and South islands of New Zealand. The cruise departs Seattle Oct. 2 and arrives at Sydney Nov. 8. Along the way, the ship makes 14 calls on the islands of Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea, and finishes with three Australia visits.

Starting Nov. 8, Westerdam will explore Australia and New Zealand on four cruises that range from 13 to 15 days. The port-intensive itineraries ensure guests can deeply explore the region and get a variety of experiences ashore that showcase the country's culture, culinary expertise and popular wine scene. Scenic cruising takes guests into the vistas of Fiordland National Park with its ice-tipped mountains and sprawling fjords.

In January, the ship will sail from Sydney to Singapore to reposition for a drydock. The 16-day voyage includes two days of scenic cruising in Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef — a stunningly diverse ecosystem that is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Following the ship's refurbishment, Westerdam will cruise two new departures in February before assuming its previously published itineraries in Asia.

Highlights of the new itineraries:

• Nov. 8: 15 days, roundtrip from Sydney. Ports include Port Chalmers (Dunedin), Lyttelton (Christchurch), Kaikoura, Wellington, Napier, Gisborne, Tauranga (Rotorua), Auckland and Waitangi, all in New Zealand, with scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park.

• Nov. 23: 13 days, roundtrip from Sydney. Ports include Eden, Port Arthur, Hobart (overnight), Adelaide (overnight), Penneshaw, Melbourne and Phillip Island, all in Australia.

• Dec. 6: 14 days, Sydney to Auckland. Australian ports include Melbourne and Hobart; New Zealand ports include Port Chalmers (Dunedin), Lyttelton (Christchurch), Kaikoura, Wellington, Napier and Tauranga (Rotorua), with scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park.

• Dec. 20 Holiday Cruise: 14 days, Auckland to Sydney. Ports include Tauranga (Rotorua), Napier, Kaikoura, Lyttelton (Christchurch), Port Chalmers (Dunedin), Hobart and Melbourne, with scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park.

• Jan. 3: 16 days, Sydney to Singapore. Ports include Newcastle, Airlie Beach, Cairns and Darwin, Australia; Komodo Island, home to the infamous Komodo Dragon; and Lembar, Lombok, and Benoa, Bali, both in Indonesia. A highlight of this voyage is two days spent scenic cruising in Australia's Great Barrier Reef where guests can marvel in the coral cays and sun-soaked islands above the surface, along with the thousands of reef systems below water.

• Feb. 3: 11 days, roundtrip Singapore. Ports include Phuket, Thailand (overnight); Port Blair, Andaman Islands, India; and the Malaysian ports of Porto Malai, Langkawi; Georgetown, Penang; Malacca and Port Klang (Kuala Lumpur).

• Feb. 14: 13 days, roundtrip Singapore. Ports include Tanjung Priok (Jakarta), Probolinggo, Surabaya and Semarang (Borobudur), on Java, in Indonesia; Komodo Island; Benoa and Celukan on Bali; ending with an overnight at Singapore.

• Feb. 27: 14 days, Singapore to Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan. Ports include Puerto Princesa, Boracay and Manila, Philippines; Kaohsiung and Keelung (Taipei), Taiwan; and Ishigaki, Naha and Kochi, Japan.

Oceania Cruises Announces 2024 Voyage Collection
Oceania Cruises revealed its 2024 Collection of voyages to Europe, Alaska, Canada, Asia, Australia & New Zealand, Africa, South America, the South Pacific, and the Caribbean. The Collection encompasses more than 350 itineraries including over 130 Grand Voyages across seven ships and all seven continents. The itineraries are available to preview online at www.OceaniaCruises.com and open for reservations on May 4, 2022.

"Next to our reputation for serving The Finest Cuisine at Sea, Oceania Cruises is widely acclaimed for developing the most enticing and destination-rich itineraries in the cruise industry," said Howard Sherman, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises. "With our 2024 Collection, we have set a whole new standard for destination innovation with an astounding mix of marquee destinations and exotic new locales blended together in creatively crafted voyage offerings."

EUROPE
Europe 2024 will be the brand's most expansive and diverse European season to date. With six ships positioned around the continent, the destinations are as diverse as Greenland and Iceland in the north and west to the Holy Lands of Egypt and Israel in the south and east and everywhere in between. Every voyage is a celebration of history, culture, and cuisine in myriad mesmerizing destinations. From the glittering jewels of the Greek Isles, Italian Riviera and France's famed Côte d'Azur to the delightful hidden gems of Norway's fjord-lined coast and the rugged outposts of Greenland and Iceland, these 2024 European itineraries are a study in diversity. Insignia, Nautica, Marina, and Sirena will spend the majority of the season exploring Europe's northern reaches and the western wine countries. Riviera and Vista will call the Mediterranean home with a seemingly endless bounty of voyages to Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Malta, Israel, Egypt and more.

NORTH AMERICA
Regatta, Insignia, and Nautica will offer close to three dozen enticing explorations of Alaska, New England, Canada, Bermuda, and the United States' colonial south. Regatta will reprise her perennially popular Alaska season with a series of voyages that showcases the region in all its glory. Must-see destinations include Icy Strait Point, Kodiak, Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Sitka, Wrangell, Prince Rupert and Victoria. On the East Coast, Insignia and Nautica will offer sailings to Bermuda, New England, and Canada's maritime provinces from New York City, Boston, and Montreal.

SOUTH AMERICA
From the lush and verdant tropical clime of the Amazon to the rugged, glacially carved coastline of Chile, South America is a vast continent brimming with thrilling explorations and vibrant heritage. Marina will sail the entire continent and will even take a breathtaking diversion down to Paradise Bay, Admiralty Bay, and Half Moon Island in Antarctica.

ASIA & AFRICA
With more than three dozen sailings in the regions, Oceania Cruises showcases these intriguing lands in a fashion that has no peer. Riviera will chart her inaugural season in the region sailing from Arabia to India, to southeast Asia, the Philippines, Vietnam, China, South Korea, and Japan. Nautica will explore the Far East while also offering up a delightful array of voyages that showcase South Africa, Mozambique, Mayotte, and the Seychelles, and Regatta will offer a series of voyages that is a literal kaleidoscope of these fabled countries. There are also copious opportunities to explore singular countries or regions with in-depth immersions of Japan, Arabia, and Indochina.

SOUTH PACIFIC, AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
Oceania Cruises is greatly expanding its offerings by having two ships in the region – Regatta and Nautica. Regatta presents an intense focus on New Zealand and Australia, including a 35-day holiday circumnavigation of the continent. There is also a cornucopia of voyages that follows the Southern Cross across the Pacific and up to Polynesia where Nautica offers a series of four 10-day sailings roundtrip from Papeete.

CARIBBEAN, PANAMA CANAL & MEXICO
Renowned for creative, immersive itineraries, Oceania Cruises presents an uncommonly diverse and creative roster of sailings to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, and Mexico. Itineraries include off-the-beaten-path destinations such as Bonaire, Dominica, Guadeloupe, and St. Vincent along with the beguiling yacht harbors of Gustavia, Rodney Bay, Tortola, and Port Royal, to name a few. Sailing westward, travelers can immerse themselves in the storied cultures of Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala. Panama beckons with its world-changing canal, the colonial charm of Colón and the glittering, cosmopolitan modernity of Panama City.

Disney Cruise Line Puts a Spell on New Experiences for Halloween on the High Seas
Halloween on the High Seas will return to Disney Cruise Line with more sailings than ever before and new one-of-a-kind experiences for families in September and October 2022. Guest-favorite entertainment and activities, including trick-or-treating, spooky parties, elaborate décor and themed food and beverage items, will await guests on these limited-time voyages as each ship transforms into a ghoulish wonderland.

First-of-its-kind character meet and greet

Disney Cruise Line guests will be the first to experience an all-new character meet and greet opportunity across the fleet during Halloween on the High Seas sailings. While all of the Disney characters on board will adorn Halloween costumes as part of the festivities, Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck and Clarabelle Cow will debut a never-before-seen look as they dress up as their favorite Halloween sisters, the Sandersons from the movie "Hocus Pocus."

Disney Wish debuts all-new magical Pumpkin Tree

During its inaugural season of Halloween cruises this fall, the Disney Wish, the newest Disney Cruise Line ship, will introduce a unique twist on a Halloween on the High Seas hallmark.

The centerpiece of every ship during Halloween sailings is the signature magical Pumpkin Tree towering over the atrium lobby, each with sprouting Jack-O-Lanterns and flickering lights.

Aboard the Disney Wish, guests will witness the debut of an all-new Pumpkin Tree in the "Cinderella"-inspired Grand Hall. Featuring lighter bark, graceful branches and a mystical face, this enchanted tree that grew perfect gourds with the help of a Wishing Star at night produced the perfect pumpkin that became the coach that carried Cinderella to the Prince's Ball.

Other special experiences on Halloween on the High Seas sailings include:

• Mickey's Mouse-querade Party: Beloved Disney characters in Halloween attire will join guests for a fun-filled costume party.

• Halloween Isn't Just For Kids: Adult-exclusive venues across the fleet will become a ghoulish setting for costume contests and a Villainous Takeover on the dance floor.

• Spooky Movies: To get guests into the spirit of the season, Halloween-themed movies will be shown on Funnel Vision by the family pool and in staterooms.

• Ghoulish Delights: Guests will enjoy special themed food and beverage items.

• More spooky fun includes mask-making and a ghostly takeover of ship announcements.

Halloween on the High Seas voyages will be offered aboard select sailings in September and October. Departing from ports in Miami and Port Canaveral, Florida, San Diego and New York City, each cruise will take families to fascinating destinations including the Bahamas, Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada and Mexico. All sailings from Port Canaveral and Miami will include a stop at Castaway Cay, Disney's private island paradise outfitted for family fun and relaxation and brimming with special Disney touches.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 17.35 - 8.10%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 78.38 - 4.86%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 19.86 - 6.50%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What do the "Single turn", "Williamson turn" and "Scharnow turn" all have in common (...besides being types of turns, of course)?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
During the Queen Mary's last voyage in 1967, a 14,559 mile journey across the Atlantic and around South America, she carried two very large pieces of unusual cargo on her main deck - what were they?

Answer - The 2 large pieces of cargo on Queen Mary's last voyage were 2 Double Deck London Transport Buses. courtesy of Larry P. Macdonald Belmont, MA USA


Cruise News - April 25, 2022

Msc Seascape Will Be Launched In New York City
New York City will serve as the glittering backdrop for an extraordinary inaugural event when MSC Cruises' newest U.S. flagship – MSC Seascape – comes into service later this year. Today the cruise line announced plans to hold the ship's Naming Ceremony at New York's centrally located Manhattan Cruise Terminal on Wednesday, December 7, 2022. The star-studded event will bring MSC Cruises' distinctive European style and glamour to the Big Apple and be attended by local dignitaries, important partners, top travel advisors, media from around the world, celebrities and international artists. And of course, no Naming Ceremony would be complete without Academy Award-Winning star Sophia Loren carrying out her iconic role as godmother to her 18th MSC Cruises ship.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, Cruise Division of MSC Group, commented: "We are particularly pleased to celebrate this momentous milestone in New York City, which holds a special place in our Group's history, having been served by ships from the MSC Group's cargo division since 1985. Today, as MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company leads the container shipping sector globally as well as across North America, MSC Cruises has grown to become a major player in the U.S. cruise industry. Having developed a meaningful operation out of South Florida, we are now preparing a major strategic expansion across the East Coast that will see us launch year-round cruises out of New York in 2023. We could not think of a better way of celebrating such a significant milestone than holding MSC Seascape's – our latest flagship – naming ceremony in this wonderful city that has been an important hub for MSC Group for over three decades."

MSC Seascape will be the cruise line's first ship to be named in New York, reflecting MSC Cruises' commitment to the North American cruise market and its upcoming expansion to New York and the Northeast with year-round cruises available from the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal beginning in April of 2023. MSC Cruises is the world's fastest growing cruise line and the third largest cruise brand in the world. With a truly global footprint, the line is continuing to expand and grow with two new ships coming into service in 2022 – MSC World Europa and MSC Seascape – and MSC Euribia hot on their heels in summer 2023.

Rubén Rodríguez, President, MSC Cruises USA, said: "We are very excited to showcase to New Yorkers our European heritage and the unique international character we bring to cruising, matching the city's multi-cultural flair. Bringing MSC Seascape to New York City for her Naming Ceremony is a fantastic opportunity for us to host a very special gala event onboard for our valued travel advisors and partners, introducing them to our newest ship. Come next year, New York City will be our third US home port, alongside Miami and Orlando / Port Canaveral. This is the latest example of the significant investment we're making in the U.S. and the Caribbean, which includes building the largest cruise terminal in North America at PortMiami and offering Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve as both a stunning tropical destination and a reflection of our commitment to the environment."

While in New York, specially invited guests from around the world will enjoy a Naming Ceremony that includes live entertainment and performances, along with a gala dinner and an opportunity to discover MSC Seascape's spectacular onboard venues and experiences.

MSC Seascape will sail to Miami immediately following the ceremony for an inaugural season in the Caribbean, with a long list of fantastic features that make her particularly well-suited for the region's warm, sunny weather. The ship will be the second Seaside EVO class ship to enter MSC Cruises' fleet and the fourth vessel in the line's highly innovative Seaside class, which has been redefining guests' expectations for Caribbean cruising since MSC Seaside first launched in Miami in 2017.

MSC Seascape will offer two different 7-night itineraries from PortMiami:

• Eastern Caribbean: Calling at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve and Nassau in The Bahamas, San Juan in Puerto Rico, and Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic

• Western Caribbean: Calling at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, Cozumel in Mexico, George Town in the Cayman Islands and Ocho Rios in Jamaica

Travel advisors from the New York area and across the Northeast should contact their MSC Cruises representative for an invite to this one of a kind, much coveted event.

New Horizons at Sea

MSC Seascape will offer an immersive experience that connects guests with the sea through her cutting-edge design and impressive outdoor spaces that can be enjoyed for relaxation, dining, and entertainment. Some of the key highlights include:

• 2,270 cabins, featuring 12 different kinds of suites and staterooms with balconies (including the iconic aft suites featured on all Seaside class ships)

• 11 dining venues plus 19 bars and lounges, with many options for 'Al Fresco' dining and drinking

• Six swimming pools, including a stunning aft infinity pool with incredible ocean views

• The largest and most luxurious MSC Yacht Club in MSC Cruises' fleet, with approximately 32,000 square feet of space featuring sweeping ocean views from the front of the ship

• An expansive 1,772-foot-long waterfront promenade that puts guests closer to the ocean

• A spectacular glass-floored Bridge of Sighs at deck 16 with a unique view of the sea

MSC Seascape's environmental technologies will include selective catalytic reduction systems on each of her four Wärtsilä 14V 46F engines, reducing nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 90 percent and converting the gas into harmless nitrogen and water. Separate hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems will remove 98 percent of sulphur oxide from ship emissions.

The vessel is fitted with best-in-class wastewater treatment systems with purification standards that are higher than most wastewater treatment facilities on land. It will feature advanced waste management systems, ballast water treatment systems approved by the United States Coast Guard, the latest-technology systems for the prevention of oil discharges from machinery spaces, and various effective energy-efficiency improvements – from heat recovery systems to LED lighting able to save energy.

The ship will also feature an underwater radiated noise management system to reduce and isolate the potential effects on marine mammals.

Cunard Announces Design Details for Queen Anne
Today at Seatrade Cruise Global, Cunard - pioneers of luxury ocean travel - announced designs for all accommodations on the brand's newest ship Queen Anne. The line's 249th ship is scheduled to launch in early 2024 with maiden season itineraries announced on May 4.

Matt Gleaves, Cunard's newly appointed VP, Commercial - North America and Australasia, stressed the importance of North America as an increasingly key market for Cunard citing the opportunity of 40% growth potential across the U.S. and Canada with the introduction of Queen Anne to the fleet. The arrival of a fourth ship to the fleet provides Cunard the opportunity to increase the number of sailings in Alaska, Australia and Japan. Investments in advertising and promotions and increasing support of the travel advisor community are being made to develop new potential markets.

Gleaves stated, "As we step into the next chapter of Cunard's storied history, Queen Anne provides a platform to evolve the future of the brand and bring reimagined Cunard signature experiences to new audiences. We are confident in the North American market and believe there is significant opportunity for growth. Queen Anne will celebrate what makes Cunard so special in a way that is relevant for today's luxury traveller, appealing to both our existing loyal guests and those sailing with us for the first time."

Queen Anne's accommodation designs were also announced at Seatrade today. Bridging tradition and contemporary luxury, Queen Anne celebrates the influential design styles of both past and present. World renowned designers David Collins Studio, Richmond International and Sybille De Margerie have joined forces under Creative Director Adam D. Tihany's direction to create an extraordinary and thoughtful standard-setting design - inspiring a new way to travel at sea.

The talents' portfolios include luxury hotels, spas, restaurants and bars, as well as high end yachts, and private grand residences. For the first time David Collins Studio and Sybille de Margerie are taking their land based expertise to the ship experience.The principle concept was founded on heritage, craftsmanship, storytelling, style and innovation. These five pillars ultimately became the design DNA for the ship, and accordingly, the engine of inspiration for the designers, working together in unison.

The design teams spent time in Liverpool to immerse themselves in the Cunard Archives to unearth details from past Cunard ships preserved for decades and to reinterpret Cunard Art Deco design for the future. No stone was left unturned, from iconic poster advertisements, brochure covers and plans of grand spaces of Cunard's early deco inspired ships, to deliver a ship concept that rivals the finest in hospitality experienced on shore.

Lewis Taylor, Design Director at David Collins Studio commented, "We had the unique opportunity to explore the fascinating trove of the Cunard Archives which is housed within the University of Liverpool and provides a wealth of photographs, onboard pieces, details on layout, materials, fabrics, patterns and textures, plus business documents and marketing collateral, including menus and other ephemera. This experience was at the core of the design inspiration for Queen Anne."

Each stateroom category on Queen Anne has a distinct design direction and inspiration. The Britannia cabins comprise the majority of accommodations onboard and celebrate the deep blue of the ocean, glistening with flashes of gold to reflect the sunshine. The cabins feature mesmerizing three-dimensional paper cut deco frames celebrating deco patterns from Cunard's history. Bespoke wall coverings offer a print pattern which takes inspiration from the Cunard crest and laurel with still life photography of historical Cunard objects in a bold, colourful presentation.

The Princess Grill suites are enveloped in sumptuous Cunard red and gold tones and warm wooden furnishings. And the ship's premier category, the Queens Grill, has a bold art deco design using luxurious materials in deep shades of purple and wood intended for refined relaxation and entertainment.

The Grand and Master Suites are designed as luxe residences in subtle shades of green, purple, taupe and grey, framed with wood and marble highlights, intended to be a private enclave for entertaining friends on board. Each of the top six suites has been named after an iconic waterway that was important to Cunard throughout their history including Mersey, Solent, Boston, Hudson, Halifax and Clyde. Even the bathrooms will feature a black and white photo series documenting the construction of Queen Anne, created by world-renowned photographer Michael Mann.

The Grand Lobby is the focal point where the new Cunard deco design anchors itself and echoes throughout each space on the ship. Overall, the design of Queen Anne is an evolution from the rest of the fleet and will be an exciting, bolder contemporary interpretation of Cunard's design.

Carnival Corporation Announces Executive Changes
Carnival Corporation today announced that effective August 1st, Arnold Donald, currently President and Chief Executive Officer, is being appointed Vice Chair and member of the Boards of Directors. Josh Weinstein (age 48), currently Chief Operations Officer for the company, will assume the role of President and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc.

"Josh is a proven executive who is well-respected throughout the company, serving in key leadership roles, driving strong business results during his tenure and playing an integral part in stewarding the company through the global pandemic," Donald said. "Josh's thorough understanding of our industry, operations and business strategy puts him in a tremendous position to lead the next phase of our company's journey. With his vision, intensity and core values truly aligned to those of our company, I cannot think of anyone better suited for this role than Josh."

A 20-year veteran of Carnival Corporation & plc, Weinstein has a long history of success in critical senior-level roles for the company. In his most recent assignment for the past two years as Carnival Corporation & plc's Chief Operations Officer, Weinstein oversaw all major operational functions including global maritime, global ports and destinations, global sourcing, global IT and global auditing. During this time, he also oversaw Carnival UK, the operating company for P&O Cruises (UK) and Cunard, which he previously managed directly for three years as president.

Prior to his role with Carnival UK, Weinstein was treasurer for Carnival Corporation & plc for 10 years from 2007 to 2017, overseeing the treasury, tax, insurance and financial planning & analysis functions over this time period. From 2002 to 2007, Weinstein served as an attorney in the corporate legal department.

Weinstein said he recognized what a privilege it is to become CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc.

"I am truly humbled to take up the role of CEO and am honored to lead such a talented team of over 100,000 ship and shoreside team members who do such an incredible job in delivering unforgettable, happy vacations to our guests, day in and day out," Weinstein said. "I have benefitted tremendously from Arnold's guidance and mentoring, and I would like to thank him, Micky Arison our Chairman and the entire Boards of Directors for their support. I look forward to building upon the company's successes as we move forward."

Weinstein is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the New York University School of Law. A native of New York, Weinstein and his wife have three children.

Weinstein Will Take Charge of a Company Well-Positioned for the Future

Donald was named President and CEO for Carnival Corporation & plc in 2013 and during his nine-year tenure as CEO, Donald led the company to record results, pre-pandemic -- including achieving the company's highest profits in its history.

Recently, Donald has helped the company and its brands successfully navigate the global pandemic, well positioning the company for the future. The company expects each of its nine leading cruise line brand's full fleets to operate guest cruises in 2022, following what has been an extended pause. Carnival Corporation & plc also anticipates that monthly adjusted EBITDA will turn positive at the beginning of the summer season.

Donald has also helped reshape the company's fleet profile over his time as CEO, with newer, more efficient and more environmentally advanced ships, which will help provide a strong foundation for fantastic guest experiences and to meet the company's highest responsibility of compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and wellbeing of its guests, employees ship and shore, and members of the communities that its brands touch and serve.

Donald's business career spans nearly four decades, with a variety of senior leadership positions in several industries, including 23 years at agrichemical and biotech company Monsanto and chairman/CEO positions with Merisant, parent company of the Equal sweetener brand, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Executive Leadership Council. He is a graduate of Carleton College, Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Azamara Onward Splashes on the Scene
Azamara will introduce its newest ship, Azamara Onward, to the world next month with a christening and maiden voyage from Monte Carlo to Venice. Azamara Onward's inaugural season will take travelers to the heart of the Mediterranean, exploring its hidden gems and bringing guests closer to the true culture of each destination they visit. The new sister ship will offer guests fresh additions to its onboard venues and luxury retail spaces, as well as refreshed accommodations and new entertainment options for travelers to enjoy throughout their sailing.

"This is an exciting time for Azamara, and we are thrilled to be welcoming guests on our new ship in just a couple weeks," says Carol Cabezas, President of Azamara. "Destination immersion has always been our main priority, and we are delighted to be bringing inspiration from the Mediterranean and beyond to all our onboard offerings and experiences for guests to connect with the culture of each port, even while we are at sea."

Travelers looking to sail into spring and summer with Azamara Onward can expect:

New onboard venues showcase innovation and authenticity:
A new addition to the Azamara family, and exclusive to Azamara Onward, is Atlas Bar. The specialty venue brings a unique concept onboard, offering innovative artisanal cocktails created using the latest techniques from smoking domes to nitro-infusions. Fresh squeezed juices and handmade syrups elevate the flavors of the curated list of cocktails including the Grand Bazaar, London Fog Martini, Tuscany delight, among others. While trendy, upscale cocktails will be the focal point at Atlas Bar, guests can also enjoy an exotic premium menu of small plates served hot and cold, including beef tartare topped with caviar and shaved truffle, smoked lobster crudo, and more.

Azamara Onward will also offer an exclusive addition to its specialty restaurant, Aqualina with a new Chef's Table. Guests can enjoy a seven-course culinary journey of beautifully presented dishes that capture the flavor and essence of some of the destination's most authentic dishes.

Luxury mementos for a trip to remember:
While the memories aboard Azamara Onward are sure to last a lifetime, guests looking to take home a souvenir from their voyage can explore the ship's retail section, in partnership with Starboard Cruise Services. The world's leading luxury vacation retailer at sea offers a highly curated, distinct assortment of resort wear and travel accessories along with local, hand-crafted artisanal finds for guests onboard. The retail program will bring destination immersion to life through Starboard's ever-evolving collections and experiences, including a standalone destination shop featuring goods from Spain, Italy, Greece, France and Portugal for Azamara Onward's inaugural season in the Mediterranean.

Seaside sanctuaries:
Guests traveling aboard Azamara Onward can experience a variety of exclusive benefits in addition to the modern accommodations of its stylish staterooms or spacious suites with butler service. Both accommodations offer 24-hour room service and are the perfect retreat following a long day ashore, whether exploring independently or on one of Azamara's immersive shore excursions. In addition to ocean views, staterooms offer plush cotton slippers, bath products and fresh flowers upon arrival.

Signature Shows to keep you moving:
Azamara is proud to present four brand-new Signature Shows premiering on Azamara Onward to keep guest of all ages grooving all night long. Led by its Signature Singers & Dancers, these new shows will offer bold entertainment with a wide variety of music styles, including: Club Crooner, offering the classics from Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett to more current artists such as Natalie Cole and Michael Bublé; Amped Up, offering a fun evening of the hottest classic rock sounds of the 70s; Wanderlust, highlighting an eclectic mix of sounds from around the world; and Groove Tonight, offering a psychedelic disco soundtrack that is sure to get guests out on the dance floor.

Additionally, Azamara will be expanding its orchestra with acoustic and electric guitars and will offer local performances on select sailings to provide guests a true sense of the destination's cultural entertainment. Azamara will also continue its onboard Destination Celebration events, the cruise line's immersive evening programming which brings the unique culture of the destination directly onboard. Following Azamara Onward's inaugural season throughout Europe, the cruise company will reintroduce its signature AzAmazing Evenings for guests, which bring these cultural evening events off ship for an even more immersive destination experience.

Princess Cruises Reveals Celebrity Godparents of Discovery Princess
Television stars and show hosts will unite as godparents to officially name the newest Princess Cruises ship – Discovery Princess. Fashion designer Randy Fenoli, chef Alex Guarnaschelli, special effects designer, and fabricator Adam Savage, and real estate broker and flipper extraordinaire Page Turner will come together for the maritime naming ceremony tradition at the Port of Los Angeles on April 29.

For the past seven years, Princess has offered the cruise line's exclusive Discovery at SEA program – bringing the spirit of curiosity and exploration to every cruise through branded experiences like Shark Week at Sea, exclusive shore excursions and onboard activities such as the Camp Discovery youth centers and Stargazing at SEA.

"Bringing together these four experts and personalities to name Discovery Princess for the launch of our newest ship is an exciting moment for Princess," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "Our impressive godparents, who represent the best in food, style, wonder and exploration, bring their imaginative and inspirational talents together to celebrate this momentous occasion. We look forward to exploring what we all can do together in the future."

The impressive credentials of the four godparents of Discovery Princess include:

Randy Fenoli – Born on a cattle farm in Southern Illinois, Randy is the youngest of seven children. Driven by his fascination for design, Randy taught himself to sew at the early age of nine. At twenty, Randy received a license as a hair stylist and makeup artist. Randy's passion for fashion and design then led him to the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. From 2007-2012 Randy worked as Fashion Director at New York's Kleinfeld Bridal Salon where he consulted with nearly 15,000 brides a year. Today as the star of TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress", "Big Bliss", "Randy Knows Best", "Randy to the Rescue", "Say Yes to the Dress Benelux", and "Say Yes to the Dress America", is seen by millions of viewers in approximately 150 countries. Randy has just finished filming season twenty-one of SYTTD. As the most trusted source in the Bridal Industry, it is Randy Fenoli's mission to "Educate, Elevate, and Empower" every bride to choose the most important dress in her life and for all women to realize their own personal beauty.

Chef Alex Guarnaschelli – world-renowned chef who, after attending La Varenne Culinary School in Burgundy, France, began her international culinary journey training in Paris and New York with some of the world's most acclaimed chefs including Guy Savoy and Daniel Boulud. In 2003, Guarnaschelli was given the opportunity to expand her repertoire and become the executive chef at Butter, where she has since created her own eclectic American and green-market inspired menu. She first appeared on Food Network in 2006 and has since been part of hundreds of episodes on the network, including as a judge on Chopped, co-host of The Kitchen, host of Supermarket Stakeout and star of Alex vs. America. She hosts the award-winning digital series, Fix Me a Plate and is the author of three cookbooks, including "Cook With Me: 150 Recipes for the Home Cook (2020).

Adam Savage – special effects designer and fabricator, television personality and producer, Original host of the Emmy-nominated Discovery series Mythbusters, Savage has spent his life gathering skills that allow him to take what's in his brain and make it real. He's built everything from giant Buddhas and futuristic weapons, to fine-art sculptures. His previous positions include projectionist, animator, graphic designer, carpenter, interior and stage designer, toy designer, welder and scenic painter. In 1993, Savage concentrated his career in the special effects industry, honing his skills through more than 100 television commercials and a dozen feature films, including Star Wars Episodes I and II, Galaxy Quest and the Matrix sequels. In 2003, he was chosen to produce and co-host MythBusters. Fourteen years, 279 episodes, 1,015 myths, 2,950 experiments, eight Emmy nominations and 83 miles of duct tape later, that version of the series ended in March 2016. Since then, Savage has hosted MythBusters Jr., as well as a brand-new series, Savage Builds, which premiered on the Science Channel in 2019. Today, Savage is the Editor-in-Chief and lead content creator at Tested.com.

Page Turner – entrepreneur extraordinaire, real estate broker, flipping expert, executive producer, TV host, vision strategist and founder of EGAP Real Estate and Do the Work, Inc. After working for many years under the tutelage of great humanitarians such as Magic Johnson, Turner is a self-starter and successful entrepreneur who has been a real estate broker, flipper and investor for more than two decades, a published author of "The G.O. Life," owns Do the Work, Inc. and BLW Productions, and is co-creator, executive producer and host of her second hit HGTV show Fix My Flip. She's an expert in all facets of residential real estate, flipping, investing, building businesses and persevering through tough times. As a single mom to three girls, Turner solely supported her daughters (including twins) through private school and top universities. Her vision, resilience and work ethic (her motto is #dothework) have propelled her to the top of her industry.

Holland America Line's Noordam Returns to Service in Fort Lauderdale
After more than two years since the industrywide pause began due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Holland America Line's Noordam returned to service Sunday, April 24, 2022, at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The ship embarked guests for a 21-day Panama Canal transit to Vancouver, Canada, that will position it in Alaska through September.

To commemorate the occasion, Holland America Line held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the terminal to open embarkation, attended by the ship's captain and senior officers, with flag-waving fanfare from team members lined up to greet guests as they boarded the ship.

"We are excited to welcome guests aboard Noordam once again as we continue the pace of having all 11 of our ships back in service by June," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "With each relaunch we are able to bring more of our team members back on board and into the Holland America Line family. They have been waiting for this day to welcome our guests and get back to cruising."

Since Holland America Line restarted cruising in July 2021, Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam and Zuiderdam have returned to service with cruises in Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, California Coast and South Pacific. Volendam currently is under charter by the government of the Netherlands, positioned alongside in Rotterdam accommodating Ukrainian refuges.

Following the Panama Canal transit, Noordam will spend the summer in Alaska, offering seven-day cruises between Vancouver and Whittier, Alaska, along with one special 14-day Great Alaska Explorer roundtrip from Vancouver in September. With a strong cruise presence in Vancouver, Holland America Line is set to position four ships out of the Canadian homeport in 2022. Noordam also will offer longer Cruisetours that combine a three-, four- or seven-day Alaska cruise with an overland exploration of Denali National Park. Holland America Line is the only cruise line that extends land tours up to the unspoiled reaches of Canada's Yukon Territory.

After the Alaska season, Noordam departs on an epic sojourn westward with a 34-day Pacific Ocean crossing from San Diego, California, to Sydney, Australia, and a 35-day Australian Circumnavigation roundtrip from Sydney with 15 calls around the continent and scenic cruising in the Great Barrier Reef. The ship will sail into 2023 with 12- to 15-day cruises roundtrip from Sydney that explore New Zealand through March 2023, before crossing back over to North America for another season in Alaska.

Holland America Line will complete the restart of the remaining ships in the fleet through June with Oosterdam (May 8 in Trieste [Venice], Italy), Zaandam (May 12 in Fort Lauderdale) and Westerdam (June 12 in Seattle, Washington).

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 18.88 - 0.84%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 82.38 + 1.30%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 21.24 + 0.14%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
During the Queen Mary's last voyage in 1967, a 14,559 mile journey across the Atlantic and around South America, she carried two very large pieces of unusual cargo on her main deck - what were they?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What does the "X" on Celebrity's ship funnels stand for?

Answer - The Greek letter "chi" the first letter in the name of the former owners of Celebrity, the Chandris family. courtesy of Robert Cole, Miami, FL.


Cruise News - April 18, 2022

Holland America Line Celebrates 149th Anniversary and Prepares for May Naming Ceremony in Rotterdam
Holland America Line is commemorating its 149th anniversary today as it moves closer to its 150th milestone next year. To mark the occasion, the day will be celebrated on board with grand desserts, special champagne toasts and festivities for guests and team members.

In addition to the 149th anniversary, the cruise line will continue the celebrations through early June with the restart of Noordam (April 24), Oosterdam (May 8), Zaandam (May 12) and Westerdam (June 12) — bringing the entire fleet of 11 ships back in service — as well as the official naming ceremony for Rotterdam, which will be held May 30 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. In 2022, Holland America Line also celebrates 75 years of Alaska exploration.

"As Holland America Line moves closer to the 150th anniversary of our founding, these past couple of years have shown us the importance of celebrating our milestones," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "This April is an important month with Holland America Line leading the return to Canadian cruising, the restart of Noordam and our anniversaries of our founding and travel to Alaska. We are grateful to be moving along a positive path, not only as a brand, but as an industry."

Sailing Toward Holland America Line's 150th Anniversary

As one of the longest-serving and most experienced cruise lines in the world, Holland America Line has become known for its award-winning ships and service. Though transportation and shipping were the mainstays of its business in the 19th century, the company began to offer cruise vacations in 1895. Today, Holland America Line operates 11 ships that visit nearly 400 ports across all seven continents.

Rotterdam's Official Naming in Rotterdam

Holland America Line's newest ship, Rotterdam, was delivered in July 2021, but the official naming ceremony will be held May 30. Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands will be the ship's godmother, carrying on a tradition that began in the 1920s.

Rotterdam will depart Amsterdam, the Netherlands, May 29 on a seven-day "Rotterdam Naming Celebration" cruise that explores the gorgeous landscapes of Norway. When the ship arrives at Rotterdam May 30, a private ceremony will be held for invited guests that will be broadcast throughout the ship. During the voyage, guests will enjoy special events exclusive to the naming sailing, including a celebratory Gala Dinner and an opportunity to participate in the blessing of the ship's bell, along with surprises and commemorative gifts.

Viking Endows New Chair Of Polar Marine Geoscience At University Of Cambridge
Viking today announced it has partnered with the University of Cambridge to establish a new Professorship aimed at advancing research in the field of polar environmental science. The Viking Polar Marine Geoscience Fund will endow the University's Scott Polar Research Institute with its first-ever fully funded professorship—the Viking Chair of Polar Marine Geoscience. This new post will enhance the scientific leadership at the Institute and will enable the development of new lines of research into the behavior of polar environments, including polar ice sheets, sea ice and ocean circulation. The research fund builds on Viking's existing partnership with Cambridge University's Scott Polar Research Institute, which played a significant role in developing the scientific enrichment program for the company's new expedition vessels that launched earlier this year.

Viking's first expedition vessel, the Viking Octantis, debuted in January 2022 and spent the Austral summer in Antarctica. She is currently sailing toward the Great Lakes region, where she will be based for voyages throughout the Boreal summer. Scientists from the Scott Polar Research Institute—as well as other renowned academic institutions—have been undertaking fieldwork on board Viking Octantis and have joined voyages to share their expertise with guests. A second, identical sister ship, the Viking Polaris, will join the fleet later in 2022.

"Our intention in creating 'the thinking person's expedition' is that every voyage should provide opportunities for scientific discovery—for our guests and for our partners," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "In addition to offering our guests the ability to explore some of the world's most pristine destinations in comfort and in the most responsible way possible, we are proud that our expedition vessels can also be utilized as ships of opportunity for important research that might not be possible otherwise. By establishing the Viking Polar Marine Geoscience Fund, we are also ensuring that the Scott Polar Research Institute is able to continue critical work in perpetuity—some of which will be conducted on board."

Viking & University of Cambridge's Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI)

Viking has created the world's leading scientific enrichment environment in an expedition setting with the help of partnerships with esteemed scientific and academic institutions. Scientists from SPRI are part of the onboard 36-person Viking Expedition Team, a diverse group of experts that lead guests on shore excursions and provide world-class lectures on each sailing. University of Cambridge specialists were also consulted in the development of The Science Lab on Viking's expedition vessels; the 380-square-foot lab is comprehensively appointed with wet and dry laboratory facilities and supports a broad range of research. Julian Dowdeswell, Professor of Physical Geography at the University of Cambridge and former director of SPRI, serves as the Chair of the Viking Research Advisory Group, a consortium of scientific leaders from Viking's partner institutions who have been actively involved in overseeing the field research being undertaken on board.

"We are delighted with the support offered by Viking through both the endowment of a new Professorship at the Institute and the opportunity to use their expedition ships as well-equipped platforms for our scientific investigations of the icy world," said Professor Dowdeswell.

Established in 1920, the Scott Polar Research Institute's mission is to enhance the understanding of the polar regions through scholarly research and publication, educate new generations of polar researchers and communicate the history and environmental significance of the polar regions to the wider community.

Carnival Announces Global Port & Destinations Executive Changes
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL;NYSE: CUK), the world's largest cruise company, today announced that Renata Ribeiro, currently senior vice president strategic operations and a highly respected member of its senior leadership team, will additionally assume the responsibilities for the company's global port and destination development operations, effective June 1, 2022.

Giora Israel, who has led global port and destination development for 14 years will transition to a new role as senior advisor to the company. Israel, one of the cruising industry's most respected, influential and innovative leaders, will remain active in providing strategic policy and operational guidance to Ribeiro and the leadership team.

Throughout the years, Carnival Corporation has made significant investments in approximately 40 different port projects worldwide. The company's highest responsibility and top priority is compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and well-being of its guests, the people in the places its ships visit and serve, and its shoreside and shipboard personnel.

Ribeiro takes over responsibility for managing worldwide port and destination strategic opportunities for Carnival Corporation and its nine world-leading brands, and will be leading a talented global team focused on building and maintaining strong partnerships with local ports, governments, businesses and communities to help cultivate destination and itinerary options popular with cruise guests.

A 14-year veteran of Carnival Corporation, for the last two years Ribeiro has been senior vice president overseeing operations strategy for the corporation, managing strategic business transformation and operational initiatives. During that time, Ribeiro played a pivotal leadership role in the operational restart of the company's cruise line brands after an extended pandemic-related pause.

She was instrumental in re-establishing access to key global ports, including helping Carnival Corporation and its brands navigate complex and dynamic travel restrictions and protocols around the world. Ribeiro also has been leading efforts to optimize the global bandwidth connectivity footprint for the corporation's fleet around the world.

"Renata has the perfect combination of global operations experience and strategic management consulting expertise, making her the ideal leader to continue advancing our involvement in ports and destinations, including many of the more than 700 ports worldwide we already visit," said Josh Weinstein, chief operations officer for Carnival Corporation. "With her proven leadership record across various commercial and operational roles, and her exceptional talent for seizing new opportunities, Renata will be invaluable in helping us extend our legacy of global port development that diversify our cruise offerings and enhance the overall vacation experience for our guests, while creating positive economic impacts in the local communities we visit and serve around the world."

Ribeiro will support a talented group of leaders in port development and operations including:

• David Candib, VP Global Ports and Destinations Development, who leads the company's port and destination development initiatives in the Americas region, and oversees six company-operated ports in the Americas

• Michel Nestour, VP, EuroMed Port Development, who leads our port development and operations in the EuroMed region and the Arabian Gulf

• Marie McKenzie, VP, Global Ports & Carib Government Relations, who leads government relations in the Caribbean and Central America

• Gisella Mazzilli, VP, Finance & Accounting, the Global Ports and Destinations Group CFO

As Ribeiro takes the helm of global port and destination development, her predecessor, Israel, will transition into his new role as a senior advisor for the company to provide strategic policy and operational insights to leadership, and support to Ribeiro as she takes on this new role.

"Giora is a true industry legend who has been at the forefront of shaping and innovating cruising for more than three decades, which has played a key role in cruising becoming one of the world's most popular vacation options," said Weinstein. "His impact is most broadly felt in his tremendous body of work during his remarkable 30-year career with Carnival Corporation, particularly in his leadership developing and expanding ports and destinations around the globe. While Giora is stepping away from day-to-day port and destination development, we are very fortunate to have access to his tremendous expertise and knowledge as he takes on his new senior advisor role with Carnival Corporation."

Israel has helped advance the cruise industry in every major global region, leading key port and destination development projects that have led to Carnival Corporation becoming one of the most successful cruise port developers in the world. Among his many accomplishments, Israel was the driving force behind some of the company's iconic and innovative cruise port projects and developments, including Long Beach Cruise Terminal, Cozumel Cruise Terminal, Grand Turk Cruise Center, Mahogany Bay, Amber Cove and the HELIX cruise center in Barcelona, in addition to the new Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal, the first dedicated twin-terminal cruise port in the region.

Prior to her role with Carnival Corporation, Ribeiro worked for 12 years at the Carnival Cruise Line brand, most recently as senior vice president for destination development for a broad portfolio of Caribbean destinations, overseeing innovation and product development in partnership with Carnival Corporation's global port and destination development group. She also served as senior vice president of guest commerce, managing the line's onboard revenue businesses after working for six years as vice president of fleet deployment and demand strategy. Ribeiro joined Carnival Cruise Line in 2008 as a senior director in guest experience innovation.

Previously, Ribeiro worked for one of Brazil's largest cosmetics company, Natura & Co., as the director of commercial innovation and international expansion, leading the company's international expansion in Europe and the U.S. She began her career as a strategic management consultant, working for more than 10 years at The Boston Consulting Group and Strategy & Co. and specializing in strategy, business development and operations.

Ribeiro serves on the board of directors for the Ashtead Group plc, a British equipment rental company. She earned her Master of Business Administration degree from the Wake Forest University School of Business where she received the Luther Award for the best international student. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in business from Fundacao Getulio Vargas in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Cunard Appoints New VP, Commercial - North America and Australasia
Cunard announced this week that Matt Gleaves has been named VP, Commercial - North America and Australasia, to lead the company's growth across the region as capacity increases across the fleet by more than 40%.

Gleaves has worked for Carnival UK since 2010 and since 2017 on Cunard's leadership team, most recently as VP, International Development and Planning. While Gleaves has previously worked with the North American and Australasia operations, this move will see him dedicated to the role and be based out of the Santa Clarita, California office. He will be responsible for all aspects of sales, marketing, revenue management, customer service and guest relations for North America, Canada, Australia, Japan and across the Asia region. Gleaves will report to Sture Myrmell, President, Carnival UK.

"North America has always been fundamental to Cunard's success with the Australasian region becoming a staple to the brand and that importance will grow significantly. Our new ship, Queen Anne, arrives in early 2024, we are increasing our sailings in Alaska, Australia and Japan, and given the unique appeal of the brand we see further opportunities to grow the number of guests in these regions sailing across the fleet, including on the iconic Transatlantic Crossing on the only ocean liner in the world, Queen Mary 2." Gleaves continues, "We have fantastic teams in place and are investing further in all aspects of the local operations. I am keen to partner with the local travel advisor community and collaborate on unlocking more of our iconic line's potential."

Prior to his tenure with Cunard, Gleaves held senior management positions with global companies IBM, Estée Lauder and VT group.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 19.04 + 2.70%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 81.32 + 3.26%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 21.21 + 4.69%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What does the "X" on Celebrity's ship funnels stand for?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which cruise ship is generally recognized as having been the first "modern" cruise ship to jump start the Florida - Caribbean cruise trade and which cruise line did she sail for?

Answer - I believe the first ship to start the first modern cruise service from Florida to the Caribbean was The Sunward of Norweigan Caribbean Lines courtesy of Robert Cole, Miami, FL.


Cruise News - April 11, 2022

HAL's Koningsdam is First Cruise Ship to Return to Canada as Country Reopens Cruising After Two-Year Absence
Holland America Line will be the first cruise line to return to Canadian cruising following a more than two year industrywide pause due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Koningsdam will call at Victoria, British Columbia, Saturday, April 9, restarting the cruise industry in Canada. The following day the ship will end its current seven-day cruise at Port of Vancouver, its homeport for the summer Alaska season.

"We are thrilled to be the first cruise line back into Canada after such a long absence, and we look forward to celebrating a great moment for everyone who loves to travel and for those in Canada and Alaska whose livelihoods depend on tourism," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "Holland America Line has a robust schedule of cruises that explore Canadian ports on both coasts with Alaska, Hawaii, transatlantic and Canada and New England itineraries."

Koningsdam's call at Victoria marks 905 days since a cruise ship has visited the port, and it also will be a maiden call for the ship. To mark the milestones, Antorcha and local government officials will be on hand in both Victoria and Vancouver to celebrate the return to Canadian cruising and address the importance Canada and Alaska to Holland America Line.

In 2022, six Holland America Line ships will call at Victoria and Vancouver for the Alaska cruise season. In total, the six ships will make 45 calls at Victoria and bring nearly 75,000 guests to the port, and 76 cruises begin or end at Vancouver, welcoming approximately 140,000 guests.

For Canada and New England cruising on the East Coast, two ships return in May and cruise between Boston, Massachusetts, and Quebec City or Montreal, Quebec. Nieuw Statendam and Zaandam offer itineraries ranging from seven to 24 days to more than 12 Canadian ports.

Oceania Cruises Announces Two More Better-than-new Ships
Oceania Cruises announced details of its most ambitious OceaniaNEXT experience elevation initiative to date with the stem-to-stern re-inspiration of the 1,210-guest ships Riviera and Marina, two of the most acclaimed ships in modern history. With the advent of Riviera's and Marina's re-inspiration, Oceania Cruises will, for the first time, field a fleet entirely composed of brand-new or better-than-new ships in every destination across the globe.

Debuting in December 2022 and November 2023 respectively, Riviera and Marina will become better-than-new ships in a re-inspiration without peer. Every surface of every suite and stateroom will be entirely new, while in the public spaces, a refreshed color palette will surround a tasteful renewal of fabrics, furnishings, and lighting fixtures that exquisitely encompasses the inimitable style and comfort of Oceania Cruises. Tuscan marble, engaging works of art, and designer residential furnishings will adorn the re-inspired spaces. The iconic Library will remain just as plush and hushed, while magnificent views will fill Horizons as never before. From the bejeweled chandeliers in the gracious Grand Dining Room to the Lalique crystal-laced Grand Staircase, Riviera and Marina will each celebrate a rejuvenation so sweeping, it will be positively unimaginable to resist their welcoming embrace.

"At Oceania Cruises, we continue to raise the bar and elevate the guest experience at every opportunity. Whether it's innovative new culinary concepts, immersive new destination experiences, or presenting our guests with ships that are not just better, but better than new, Oceania Cruises sets the standard by which others are judged," stated Howard Sherman, President & CEO of Oceania Cruises.

Floor-to-Ceiling, Wall-to-Wall All-New Suites and Staterooms

Riviera's and Marina's suites and staterooms will be passionately reimagined to provide a radiant and even more decadent degree of lavish residential comfort while leaving no surface untouched, no design detail wanting. Lighter, brighter, and even more spacious, every suite and stateroom on board will glow from a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall re-inspiration. Custom-crafted furnishings, exotic stone, and polished wood finishes, and designer accessories will add an air of elegance and sophistication that are the hallmarks of our completely transformed guest accommodations. Every square inch will be new, enhanced by nuanced shades of the sea and sky, creating a harmonious celebration of style and comfort.

Living and sleeping areas will reflect a luxurious array of new finishes. From lustrous Italian marble to bespoke fabrics in harmonious tones evocative of painted deserts and tranquil skies, each sublime sanctuary will shimmer with the modernity of an inviting Milanese townhouse. Sensuous, curvilinear tables and chairs will beg for attention, subtle lighting will suffuse opulence, and intricate millwork will whisper of the finest European craftsmanship. Bathrooms will be pearlescent, bedecked with glittering fixtures and with spacious storage effortlessly incorporated. Indescribably exquisite, this evolution will be nothing short of perfection.

Suite and Stateroom Highlights:

• Riviera and Marina will boast a radiant new glow reminiscent of a sun-dappled Newport estate yet with the warmth and joie de vivre of a chic Parisian apartment in which each element has been carefully chosen to create a comforting sense of home.

• Concierge Level Veranda Staterooms and Veranda Staterooms are the largest standard staterooms afloat at 291 square feet.

• Suites and staterooms will embrace a complete transformation that flawlessly melds meticulously considered functionality with refined splendor and a refreshing residential panache.

• Each private retreat will gleam with sumptuous new furnishings, sleek restyled bathrooms, fashionable lighting, and myriad thoughtful details, such as an abundance of outlets and USB ports always within reach.

• Brand-new bathrooms will be more spacious than ever before and feature generous, oversized showers.

• Lustrous, Glamorous, and Radiant Public Spaces

Just beyond the transcendent havens that are the suites and staterooms, the same devotion to grandeur will be suffused into airy and uplifting public spaces tastefully reconceived to further enhance our guests' culinary and leisurely flights of fancy. A twinkle of elegance and comfortable sophistication will further refine our dining venues, creating worthy stages for The Finest Cuisine at Sea. The restyled Grand Bar will specialize in temptation via libation while the butter-soft leather armchairs in The Grand Dining Room will reflect a renewed sense of grandeur that radiates from the glistening chandelier and plush carpets. For aficionados of dining alfresco, there will be even more options to delight in. In addition to the leisurely seaside-inspired retreat that is the Terrace Café and the barbecue temptations of Waves Grill, a delightful Trattoria will feature an array of wood-fired pizzas, succulently grilled Italian specialties, tantalizing salads, and indulgent desserts every evening in a relaxed atmosphere caressed by sea breezes and dappled with moonlight.

Public Spaces Highlights

• Convivial lounges, tony bars, and decadent dining venues will be gracious beneficiaries of a blissfully elegant restyling, elevating social and epicurean interludes to new heights of congenial sophistication.

• The Grand Dining Room will be even grander and more opulent with plush new carpets underfoot and lustrous, leather-covered armchairs creating an indulgently comfortable setting for a lavish evening of dining.

• Timeless Italian dining will beckon beneath a canopy of stars at our new tantalizing eatery, an alfresco pizzeria, and trattoria.

• Polo Grill will radiate a new contemporary glow. Retaining its rich leather chairs and polished wood paneling, plush new carpeting, exquisite new wall coverings, and dramatic draperies will create an entirely new yet delightfully familiar backdrop for the finest steakhouse experience at sea.

• Horizons will be not only completely reimagined but also lighter, brighter, and even more luxurious than before.

Riviera will debut on December 7, 2022, on a 16-day Mediterranean, Atlantic, and Caribbean cruise from Rome to Miami. From there, Riviera will reprise her eternally popular 7- to 14-day Caribbean sailings from Miami to the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America for one final season before returning to Europe in late March 2023. Riviera then charts an inaugural season of Far East explorations during later 2023 and early 2024.

Marina will debut on November 13, 2023, on a 7-day cruise from Barcelona to Lisbon. From Lisbon, Marina will bound her way to Miami, where she will kick off her annual South America season on December 3, 2023.

Details on the 2024 itineraries for the entire Oceania Cruises fleet will be released in the coming weeks.

In a new world of luminous and luxurious design, rest assured that one aspect will remain constant and unchanged: Oceania Cruises' trademark warm and personalized service. Whether guests are sailing for the first time or the fifteenth, they will note the ease with which the staff remembers their names and their preferences along with the genuine smiles and enthusiasm that can only come from the heart.

"Our people remain at the heart of what we do, and the officers and crew of Oceania Cruises are the finest at sea. While the onboard experience continues to surprise and delight, the way our staff approaches the art of service remains delightfully familiar, warm, and gracious," added Sherman.

In addition to Riviera and Marina, Oceania Cruises' four 656-guest ships are also better than new, having been recently re-inspired. Insignia debuted better than new for her 2019 Around the World in 180 Days voyage, followed shortly after by Regatta and Sirena in the same year, and finally with Nautica, which just re-entered service on April 1, 2022. All-new suites and staterooms are complemented by dramatically restyled public spaces replete with chic and tony residential furnishings and accented by an intriguing international art collection.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Announces New Norwegian Fjords And London, Holland And France Voyages
Bringing travelers to captivating destinations in luxe-adventure style, Atlas Ocean Voyages announced three new Western Europe voyages aboard World Navigator today. The new Norwegian Fjords and London, Holland, and France voyages, depart in August and September 2022 and feature multiple overnights in culture-rich ports, which provide opportunities for guests to opt for extensive tour options. Because of her small size, World Navigator will navigate up narrow waterways and rivers to dock in the center of Amsterdam, London, Antwerp, and Bordeaux for convenient access to each city. Travelers can take advantage of up to $6,000 savings per suite or stateroom aboard these new voyages, or any 2022 and 2023 voyages and expeditions, when making a new deposited booking from now until June 30, 2022. For more information, please visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com.

"World Navigator's new late-summer voyages bring travelers to the Norwegian Fjords and Western Europe at one of the best times of the year," said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "These port-intensive itineraries feature multiple overnights in some of the region's most sophisticated destinations far removed from current global events. And World Navigator's small size provides guests a more personalized and immersive, luxe-adventure experience."

On the new 12-night Norwegian Fjords voyage, departing roundtrip from Hamburg on August 26, 2022, guests visit some of the most breathtaking fjordlands of Southern and Western Norway, including Sognefjord, the country's largest fjord. World Navigator's small size is ideal for bringing guests to small, charming villages and breathtaking vistas of majestic mountain peaks, steep cliffs and cascading waterfalls.

The subsequent 12-night, Hamburg to London voyage, departing September 7, guests enjoy overnights at Amsterdam and London, and call at Antwerp, Belgium; Paris (Honfleur), France; and Plymouth, U.K. In Amsterdam, guests can opt to see the famous Tulips at the Seventh Decennial Floriade with horticultural exhibits from more than 33 countries. Additionally, World Navigator will cruise up the Thames to dock at the Tower Bridge and overnight in the city, so guests have plenty of time to catch a West End show and step into a pub for a pint.

The September 19 voyage, a 13-night itinerary from London to Porto, Portugal, overnights in Amsterdam, London, Paris (Honfleur) and Bordeaux for the widest range of immersive experiences for enophiles, history and horticultural enthusiasts, and art and culture seekers. In addition to visiting the heart of one of France's renowned wine regions, guests can also opt to take a tour to the Normandy Beaches to honor the memory of one of the most pivotal moments of World War II.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is a luxe-adventure, expedition cruise line designed for discerning, fun-seeking travelers to immerse in unique and awe-inspiring moments in remote and captivating destinations. World Navigator, launched in August 2021, and World Traveller, launching October 2022, both feature 98 suites, solo suites with no single supplements, and staterooms, and is the line's first two small expedition ship, bringing travelers to smaller, authentic and exclusive locales.

World Navigator will cruise Western Europe, the Norwegian Fjords, and Iceland, Greenland and The Arctic in summer 2022; Central and South America in the autumn; and return to Antarctica for her winter 2022-23 season. In winter 2023, World Traveller will sail her inaugural season in Antarctica. Three additional sister ships, World Seeker, World Adventurer and World Discoverer, will join the fleet through 2024.

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Cruise Industry's First NFT Collection
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), the innovator in global cruise travel with a history of breaking boundaries, today announced it will sail into the Metaverse with the launch of the cruise industry's first collection of NFTs, adding to the Brand's legacy of pioneering firsts.

NCL will open for auction and sale a collection of six NFTs to celebrate the launch of the Company's cutting-edge Norwegian Prima Class on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, at 9 a.m. ET on NCL's soon to launch online NFT marketplace. The NFT art pieces were created by Manuel Di Rita, widely known as "Peeta," the Italian artist who designed the hull art on the record-breaking Norwegian Prima and her sister vessel Norwegian Viva.

The first of the six art pieces will be auctioned at the starting rate of USD$2,500, with the remaining NFTs sold for prices beginning at USD$250. The winner of the auction will also be awarded a balcony stateroom on one of Norwegian Prima's U.S. inaugural voyages, setting sail from NCL's beautiful new PortMiami terminal located in Miami, the Cruise Capital of the World.

"We are so excited to partner with Peeta on this first for our brand and for the industry," said NCL President and CEO Harry Sommer. "Peeta is a talented artist who has brought the magic and beauty of the ocean to our ships, so we are happy to share this with our guests and to donate the proceeds of this new venture to Teach For America, an organization and a cause very near and dear to our hearts."

The first piece in the NFT collection resembles the captivating hull art on Norwegian Prima and provides the buyer an opportunity to own a piece of the beautiful Norwegian Prima for years to come . The additional five NFT pieces showcase some of the innovative 3D designs often depicted in Peeta's works and will be featured aboard Norwegian Prima including in the ship's three-level Penrose Atrium.

"We strive to adopt the most cutting-edge technology at Norwegian Cruise Line and strongly believe that providing our guests the opportunity to own digital assets that connect them with an unforgettable cruise experience is an essential step forward," says Scott Piccolo, Chief Digital Experience Officer at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH). "We are incredibly proud to work with Peeta on the cruise industry's first-ever NFT collection."

All proceeds from the NFT auction and sales will be donated to Teach For America. Teach For America finds, develops, and supports a network of leaders who expand opportunity for children from classrooms, schools, and every sector and field that shapes the broader systems in which schools operate.

"Teach For America embraces innovation and industry leaders, and we are especially proud of the work Norwegian Cruise Line has done to celebrate and recognize teachers through its annual NCL Giving Joy campaign, which celebrates the intersection of travel and education," said LaKeisha Wells-Palmer, Executive Director of Teach For America Miami-Dade. "We're grateful for the commitment to education in our community. The proceeds from the sales of these beautiful NFTs will help Teach For America recruit and develop more teachers for students in Miami-Dade."

Launching August 2022, Norwegian Prima's Christening voyage will depart from Reykjavík, Iceland and will feature a performance from newly announced godmother, global popstar Katy Perry. Norwegian Prima will offer voyages to Northern Europe from Amsterdam; and Copenhagen, Denmark beginning Sept. 3; and https://www.ncl.com/cruise-destinations/caribbean-cruises Caribbean itineraries from Galveston, Texas, Miami and Orlando, Fla. beginning Oct. 27.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 18.54 - 6.08%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 78.75 - 5.60%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 20.26 - 7.78%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When she returned to service after the Falklands War in 1982, Queen Elizabeth 2 was noticeably different in appearance. What were the two changes made to the ship?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which cruise ship is generally recognized as having been the first "modern" cruise ship to jump start the Florida - Caribbean cruise trade and which cruise line did she sail for?

Answer - I believe the first ship to start the first modern cruise service from Florida to the Caribbean was The Sunward of Norweigan Caribbean Lines courtesy of Robert Cole, Miami, FL.


Cruise News - April 4, 2022

Royal Caribbean Celebrates Keel Laying For Icon Of The Seas
The building of Royal Caribbean International's highly anticipated cruise ship, Icon of the Seas, has reached a pivotal milestone ahead of its fall 2023 debut. A keel-laying ceremony took place at Finnish shipyard Meyer Turku to officially mark the start of the revolutionary ship's physical construction, with Royal Caribbean and Meyer Turku senior executives and teams in attendance.

The keel laying, a longstanding maritime tradition, involved a 3,000-ton crane lifting a massive steel block that is placed into the new ship's building dock and on top of freshly minted coins, which represent the shipyard and cruise line. The coins are meant to bring luck during construction, and they will be retrieved and given to Icon's captain and crew before setting sail.

"Five years ago, we began dreaming of Icon of the Seas, and now the next phase of this iconic adventure is beginning," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "As this game-changing ship takes shape, the excitement from families and travelers alike, travel advisors and our partners continues to build. Later this year, we'll reveal the lineup of firsts and favorites that will set a new standard for vacations come fall 2023."

At the ceremony, the working teams behind constructing Icon were joined by Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group; Richard Fain, chairman, Royal Caribbean Group; Meyer Group Managing Partner Bernard Meyer; and Meyer Turku CEO Tim Meyer.

Icon will set sail next year with the latest innovations and signature features Royal Caribbean's teams have imagined and reimagined in bold, new ways, including a shift toward cleaner energy. The first of three Royal Caribbean ships will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) – the cleanest fossil fuel available to cruise ships today. Combining LNG with a lineup of the cruise line's proven applications, such as shore power connection and waste heat recovery systems that repurpose excess energy to help power the ship's operations, Icon will be the next important step in Royal Caribbean's journey toward a clean-energy future.

Holland America Line Ship Will Become Temporary Home for Ukrainian Refugees in the Netherlands
Holland America Line's Volendam will be used to accommodate Ukrainian refugees as part of an agreement announced by Netherlands and City of Rotterdam government officials. The ship will dock in Rotterdam for three months to provide a temporary home for approximately 1,500 Ukrainians, part of a larger commitment from the Netherlands to accommodate 50,000 people who fled the war in their homeland.

"We are in a unique position to accommodate the immediate need for food and housing, so we felt it was very important to work with the City of Rotterdam and charter this ship," said Gus Antorcha, president, Holland America Line. "Our company was founded in Rotterdam around the mission of helping immigrants find a better life. So today we're proud to be a small part of a similar mission for Ukrainians who have tragically been displaced."

Under the agreement to charter Volendam, Holland America Line will provide three hot meals per day, private stateroom accommodations, housekeeping services, use of public spaces, fitness facilities, internet access, and other necessities. Volendam will be staffed with approximately 650 crew members.

"We are known for our service and hospitality, and our team is ready to welcome our new guests as we would welcome guests into our own home," said Captain Ryan Whitaker. "It will truly be an honor for us to make Volendam a comfortable and caring environment for these families who have been through so much."

Volendam was scheduled to return to service May 15, with voyages from Rotterdam to Norway, the British Isles and Iceland. To accommodate the three-month commitment, Holland America Line will cancel three of those voyages and resume service on July 3 instead. Guests on canceled cruises are being notified today and will be accommodated on similar itineraries.

"We are very sorry for the inconvenience this will cause to guests booked on the three canceled cruises," Antorcha said. "We hope they understand the unprecedented nature of this situation and why we felt it was important to work with the government on this initiative in support of these families in need."

Volendam will be docked at Merwehaven, a cargo port on the north side of the River Maas in Rotterdam. Remaining docked will ensure Ukrainian families can transit easily to and from services in Rotterdam.

Holland America Group has already been working with its own team members who are Ukrainian. A $1 million emergency assistance fund provides direct financial support. Team members from the region also receive counseling assistance, free internet service to communicate with family, and scheduling accommodations such as early disembarkation or an extension to remain on board as needed.

The family foundation of parent company Carnival Corporation's chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine also announced a pledge of $3 million to charities helping Ukrainian refugees. In addition, Holland America Line will look to raise awareness and funds through its On Deck for a Cause program, in which guests on every cruise may take part in a non-competitive 5K fundraising walk. The money raised will go to Direct Relief.

"We stand for peace and our hearts go out to everyone whose lives have been upended by the invasion of Ukraine," said Arnold Donald, president and chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation & plc. "We have crew members from 145 countries and we sail with guests from nations around the globe, so we feel deeply the impact of this humanitarian crisis and we join many others in supporting relief efforts."

Silversea Christens Silver Dawn In Lisbon
Silversea Cruises officially named its 10th ship, Silver Dawn, in Lisbon on March 31. Executives from Royal Caribbean Group, Silversea Cruises, and Fincantieri, as well as local dignitaries and esteemed guests, celebrated the milestone with a formal ceremony and gala dinner. An expression of Silversea's rapid expansion, Silver Dawn becomes the cruise line's third new ship to debut in nine months. The launch of Silver Dawn also marks the debut of Otium, travel's most indulgent new wellness programme, as well as the next iteration of Silversea's S.A.L.T. culinary programme.

After Royal Caribbean Group's customary bagpipe performance, which opened the formal naming ceremony, performers took to the stage, entertaining attendees with a performance that weaved a narrative from the 2021 launch of Silver Moon to the modern day debut of Silver Dawn. Singers recited the national anthems of the U.S.A., Italy, and Portugal, before a religious leader blessed the ship and dignitaries delivered speeches. The newly named Godmother of Silver Dawn, Nilou Motamed—an influential food and travel editor, tastemaker, and television personality—subsequently cut the ribbon to trigger a champagne bottle to smash on the ship's hull, signalling the end of the ceremony.

"Celebrating the naming of Silver Dawn in Lisbon marked an incredibly proud moment for all involved," said Jason Liberty, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. "I thank and congratulate Roberto Martinoli and our entire team, including Captain Failla and the crew, as well as everyone at Fincantieri, our ship building partners. Silver Dawn is a jewel in the Silversea fleet and speaks to Royal Caribbean Group's commitment to delivering the best vacation experiences in a responsible way."

"An evolution of our unique take on luxury, Silver Dawn is the third Silversea ship to be named in the last nine months," said Roberto Martinoli, President & CEO, Silversea Cruises. "As well as S.A.L.T., our immersive culinary programme, Silver Dawn enriches guests' travels with Otium, our indulgent new wellness programme, which is inspired by the ancient Roman lifestyle. She really is magnificent. I extend my gratitude to Jason Liberty and all involved at Royal Caribbean Group, as well as to the team at Silversea, Fincantieri, and Captain Failla and his crew—our most valuable asset. Moreover, I proudly welcome Nilou Motamed as the Godmother of Silver Dawn."

NILOU MOTAMED: GODMOTHER OF SILVER DAWN

An Emmy-nominated television personality and former editor-in-chief of some of the world's leading culinary brands, including Food & Wine and Epicurious, Nilou Motamed has been shaping the conversation in food and travel for more than 20 years. Born in Iran, raised in Paris and New York, Motamed is fluent in four languages — and believes "food is a language of its own, one in which everyone can find comfort, compassion, and community." Her passion for culinary adventures and far-flung cuisines has found a perfect match in Silversea's S.A.L.T. programme, which the New York resident first experienced with its launch in 2021.

"It's a great honour to have been selected as the Godmother of Silver Dawn and to have been on board for her naming ceremony in Lisbon," says Motamed. "Growing up in multiple countries has helped me recognize that one of our deepest common bonds, wherever we go, is food. Like many of Silversea's guests, I always pair my cultural explorations with culinary ones. That's why I've loved seeing the world through Silversea's S.A.L.T. programme. I've dedicated my career to celebrating authentic, local cuisines and cultures. For me, nothing is more rewarding than connecting with people over a shared meal."

"An authority in the world of food and drink, Nilou is a curious, intelligent traveller," continues Martinoli. "Her mission to delve deeper into cultures through food, to truly understand places and their people, reflects that of Silversea's culinary programme, S.A.L.T.. It is this strong spirit of discovery, this commitment to self-enrichment and complete cultural immersion, that makes Nilou the perfect Godmother for our newest ship. Aboard Silver Dawn, our guests will discover the world with purpose, while journeying in Silversea's trademark level of comfort."

SILVER DAWN AND THE OTIVM WELLNESS PROGRAMME

Silver Dawn becomes the latest ship in Silversea's popular Muse class. The most discernible difference between Silver Dawn and her sister ships, Silver Muse and Silver MoonSM, is the new Otium wellness programme, which launches as a unique innovation. It is the only wellness programme at sea that incorporates champagne, chocolate and other gourmet snacks; signature cocktails; bespoke in-suite experiences; a Roman-influenced spa; and a wellness journey that extends throughout the ship. Grounded in the philosophy and traditions of the ancient Roman lifestyle, in which otium was a period of time dedicated exclusively to leisure, the Otium wellness programme is built on principles of indulgence, pleasure, and pampering. Spanning almost 800m2 on deck six, Silver Dawn's spa has been completely redesigned for a more seamless wellness journey.

Silver Dawn departs on her inaugural voyage on April 1, sailing from Lisbon to Barcelona. She is scheduled to sail in the Mediterranean until November, when she will cross the Atlantic Ocean, via the Canary Islands, to unlock the Caribbean and Central America for guests.

Oceania Cruises Reveals New Solo Staterooms
Oceania Cruises announced the addition of dozens more dedicated staterooms for solo travelers along with the debut of the line's Go Green and Beyond Blueprints shore excursion series as part of its industry-leading OceaniaNEXT initiative.

Each of the four ships will feature 14 Solo Oceanview Staterooms, which debut aboard Regatta on September 25, 2022; Nautica on September 26, 2022; and Insignia and Sirena on October 1, 2022.With the addition of these 56 staterooms, plus those that debuted to a sell-out success on Vista earlier this year, Oceania Cruises is reinforcing its commitment to solo travelers. The line also revealed two new shore excursion series – Go Green and Beyond Blueprints – to provide curious travelers with even more options for discovery, exploration, and personal connections with the destinations visited.

"One of the greatest factors in Oceania Cruises' success is that we not only listen to the feedback our guests and travel partners provide, we act on it. Our guests and travel partners wanted more options for solo travelers and more diverse tour offerings, and we are delighted to deliver," stated Howard Sherman, President & CEO of Oceania Cruises.

Solo Oceanview Staterooms aboard Regatta, Insignia, Nautica, and Sirena

Bathed in soothing tones with multiple layers of luxurious furnishings, accents and artwork, these charming staterooms are the perfect retreat for the solo traveler. Centrally located on Deck 6, each is an inviting home away from home, providing guests with a blissful and welcoming space to relax and rejuvenate as they explore the world's most fascinating destinations. All are amply spacious and equipped with a sublimely plush Tranquility Bed, refrigerated mini bar, cozy seating area and abundant storage space.

"These new single-occupancy staterooms are ideal for guests seeking the joy of traveling solo while experiencing all the comfort, cuisine, and destination expertise that Oceania Cruises is renowned for," added Sherman.

Pricing and availability for the new Solo Oceanview Staterooms will be available on April 11, 2022, for sailings beginning on or after September 25, 2022 - Regatta on September 25, 2022; Nautica on September 26, 2022; and Insignia and Sirena on October 1, 2022.

New Go Green and Beyond Blueprints Tours

With more than 150 Go Green tours to choose from around the globe, travelers may engage with residents and businesses to learn about how they are working to conserve and sustain their surrounding environment. The tours, many of which provide an educational element, offer guests the opportunity to take part in a variety of experiences, such as visiting a sustainable vineyard in Almeria, Spain; learning the fascinating aspects of hydroponic farming in the rainforests of St. Kitts; discovering the world of eco-conscious art in Buenos Aires, Argentina; or imbibing in zero-emission rum in the world's only carbon-free distillery in Dartmouth, United Kingdom. Oceania Cruises' Go Green tours span the globe in a wide variety of destinations across Africa, Alaska, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Northern Europe and South America.

The Beyond Blueprints tours offer a rare and in-depth look behind the scenes at some of the world's most iconic architectural landmarks such as The Royal Library and The Blue Planet aquarium in Copenhagen, Denmark; the Equinor office building and the Munchmuseet in Oslo, Norway; and La Villa Mediterranée and MUCEM Marseille, France. The line is showcasing a total of 10 Beyond Blueprints tours in Europe for 2022 and additional global destinations are expected to be unveiled later in the year. All offer special, little-known stories and information from insightful guides about the inspiration, reasoning and genius that brought these marvels to life. Other Beyond Blueprints tours being launched focus on sites in Barcelona, Spain; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Glasgow, Scotland; La Coruna, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; and Sete, France.

"Whether guests are visiting a destination for the first time or the tenth, our new Go Green and Beyond Blueprints tours offer fresh perspectives and unique insights to enhance their destination experience," added Sherman.

Go Green Tour Examples

Bordeaux Wines and Sustainability: Bordeaux, France
On this tour, guests will discover how converting to biodynamic and organic farming has further elevated the quality of the esteemed wines at Château de La Dauphine. The first vineyards in the Fronsac region of Bordeaux were planted about 2,000 years ago, so this appellation has a long-distinguished history. Even so, in 2015 the new owners of Château de La Dauphine sought to improve its wines by adopting sustainable, biodynamic practices that go far beyond organic pesticide-free agricultural methods. Biodynamic farming takes a holistic, ethical approach that follows the harmonious cycles of nature, specifically the movement of the moon and planets. As guests tour the vineyards, they will learn more about biodynamics and how it affects the terroir and the taste of the wines. The sampling that follows will lend even more insight. The exact wines will be chosen on arrival, but will likely include an elegant, deep-scarlet merlot.

A Sloth Paradise – Give Back to Nature: Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Visiting a sanctuary for sloths that have been orphaned or injured or lost their habitat due to deforestation, guests will have a close-up look at the animals as they are rehabilitated in hopes of returning them to the wild. Sloths are the world's slowest animals and spend nearly all-day hanging upside down in trees, rarely traveling more than 125 feet. If their habitat is disturbed or destroyed, the sloths are at great risk. Guests can expect to observe baby sloths and plenty of adults in various stages of rehabilitation. The guide will describe the habits of sloths in the wild and how they easily adapt to the sanctuary environment that replicates a tropical forest. Deforestation is one of the biggest threats to sloths, so to help their cause, travelers may plant a tree in a nearby forest reserve.

Bach Ma National Park Ecosystem: Hue, Vietnam
Guests can hike through Bach Ma National Park with a naturalist who will point out and describe the remarkably diverse flora and fauna. As an introduction to the natural wonders, travelers will first browse the exhibits in the visitor center, which detail the park's mountainous topography. Bach Ma means "white horse," a reference to the clouds that ride the wind around the granite summit. As the trail ascends, the forest will become denser and the air cooler. Although the ruins of homes that the colonial French built to escape the summer heat are still visible, most every other sight will be natural. Birds are abundant, including red-headed trogons and scarlet minivets, which are easy to spot because of their bright coloring. A fifth of all the plant species found in Vietnam flourish in the park, and rare orchids may be seen. The summit will afford panoramic views of the mountains, Tam Giang Lagoon and Hue.

Beyond Blueprints Tour Examples

Beyond Blueprints: Copenhagen, Denmark
The Royal Library & The Blue Planet
Browse two radical, modernistic buildings with an architectural historian that will reveal little-known facts about their extraordinary designs. The Black Diamond extension to The Royal Library is as revolutionary as it looks. The irregularly shaped monolithic prism is clad in black granite and leans toward the river to capture as much natural light as possible. The building's significant tilt, wave-like balconies and expanding form as it rises from bottom to top presented a slew of design challenges that the guide will explain. The Blue Planet may be even more striking as it is the largest aquarium in Europe and resembles a giant whirlpool – a design inspired by the shape of water in endless motion. The building's exterior is covered in aluminum panels that are reminiscent of fish scales, while the interior curved ceiling evokes images of the baleens of a massive whale. The guide will further elaborate on the technological challenges of constructing The Blue Planet seaside.

Beyond Blueprints: Oslo, Norway
Equinor & Munchmuseet
Discover how two extraordinarily modern buildings have transformed Oslo's skyline and pushed the boundaries of design. An architectural historian guide will elaborate on the buildings' advanced technologies and present a rare insider's perspective of their construction. The iconic Equinor office building consists of five separate rectangular modules stacked on top of each other at different angles, all to optimize daylight and views. Guests will also learn fascinating details about how the atrium's propeller-shaped glass roof was designed to withstand months of extra weight from snow. Similarly, climate conditions influenced the design of the Munchmuseet, a 13-story museum dedicated to the works of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. It is constructed with low-carbon concrete and aluminum cladding that reflects harsh sunlight and is cooled with seawater. The top of the building intentionally tips forward as if bowing to Oslo in homage.

Beyond Blueprints: Marseille, France
La Villa Mediterranée & MUCEM
Gain an insider's understanding of the challenges in building two avant-garde landmarks by touring them with an architectural historian. Perched along the waterfront, La Villa Mediterranée was designed to embody Marseille's deep bond with the sea. Instantly recognized for its prominent cantilevered overhang, this three-level public space also features a conference center with portholes beneath the sea. As guests will discover, that lower floor presented all sorts of unusual circumstances that pushed the boundaries of architecture. The building faces MUCEM, a national museum devoted to Mediterranean civilizations. Its audacious design includes elements such as tree-like columns, a lacy façade that resembles a fishnet and a slender footbridge that connects it to the towering ramparts of Fort Saint-Jean. The square-within-a-square shape of MUCEM is classical in one sense but radically different because of the building materials. The concrete filigree that shields much of the structure is particularly stunning.

Atlas Ocean Voyages' Introduces New "Discover Yourself - Discover The World Anew" Marketing Campaign
Taking the Atlas Ocean Voyages brand to the next level, the luxe-adventure expedition line announced today a new marketing campaign called "Discover Yourself – Discover the World Anew." The new campaign focuses on new travel experiences that redefine luxury and adventure as guests immerse in new travel experiences aboard Atlas' luxe-adventure voyages. A new brand video, called "Life's Great Adventures Start From Within," spearheads the new campaign and showcases shipboard and shoreside experiences depicted with new, spectacular footage captured aboard the newly launched World Navigator. Both Inspirational and aspirational, the nearly three-minute video shows the glamorous and exciting day-in-the-life aboard an Atlas luxe-adventure voyage. To view the new "Life's Great Adventures Start From Within" video, please visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com.

"We are proud to present Atlas Ocean Voyages' new marketing campaign," said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "Discover Yourself – Discover the World Anew is the next rendition of Atlas' marketing campaign to inspire travelers to embark on a luxe-adventure voyage of a lifetime to remote and captivating destinations around the world. On board, guests enjoy all-inclusive luxury and Atlas' signature casually elegant ambience."

The new "Life's Great Adventures Start From Within" video features the Atlas experience in three parts: the luxurious onboard amenities of World Navigator and World Traveller, the casually elegant shipboard guest experience, and Atlas' exhilarating shoreside adventures. Travelers will find the new "Discover Yourself – Discover the World Anew" campaign in a variety of channels, including consumer and trade magazines, newspaper inserts, outdoor and online channels.

"The new Discover Yourself – Discover the World Anew campaign captures the essence of our brand in a fresh, exciting way," said Colleen Rodriguez, Vice President of Marketing, Atlas Ocean Voyages. "Our young brand stirs the soul and inspires travel. Every touchpoint of our campaign is about connecting back to our guests in a meaningful and genuine way and helping them find their "self" and the adventurer within."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 19.74 + 1.75%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 83.42 + 6.21%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 21.97 + 6.96%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which cruise ship is generally recognized as having been the first "modern" cruise ship to jump start the Florida - Caribbean cruise trade and which cruise line did she sail for?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Before selecting the former France for conversion into the cruise ship Norway, NCL examined three other 900 ft + former liners. Name at least two of the three former liners they did not select.

Answer - NCL looked at MICHELANGELO, RAFFAELLO, and UNITED STATES. courtesy of Richard MacGregory, Longmeadow MA


Cruise News - March 28, 2022

Discovery Princess Sets Sail on Maiden Voyage
Princess Cruises, the leading cruise line on the west coast with the longest history sailing out of the Port of Los Angeles, today revealed a first glimpse of its newest MedallionClass ship – Discovery Princess – celebrating her maiden voyage to the Mexican Riviera.

Earlier today, Princess President John Padgett, along with Discovery Princess officers, welcomed the first guests, Michael and Sally Smith, onboard with a special ceremony. From Sacramento, California the Smiths are frequent guests sailing with Princess for the last 10 years.

Discovery Princess expands the cruise line's fleet to 15 vessels, offering elegantly appointed accommodations, world-class entertainment, gourmet dining and cocktails, extensive alfresco dining areas and expansive views from the cruise line's largest balconies at sea in the Sky Suites. A traditional naming ceremony celebration will take place at the Port of Los Angeles on April 29, 2022, with more details to follow.

The 3,660-guest Discovery Princess was built at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, and is the sixth and final Royal-Class newbuild sharing all of the spectacular style and luxury of her sister ships – Enchanted Princess Sky Princess, Majestic Princess, Regal Princess and Royal Princess.

"Today we celebrate our newest ship, Discovery Princess, as she sets sail on her maiden voyage to the Mexican Riviera from the Port of Los Angeles – the same port our very first cruise departed from in 1965," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "Cruising is back and the elegant Discovery Princess showcases the many reasons why travelers should take a cruise now. We also recognize and applaud the ship's company, who will work tirelessly to deliver memorable cruise vacations to all who sail on this magnificent cruise ship."

As part of the leading cruise line on the west coast, Discovery Princess is now sailing on a series of Mexican Riviera and California Coast voyages from March 27 – April 24, 2022. The ship will then head up the Pacific coast to begin a season of seven-day Alaska cruises from Seattle, making her the newest ship sailing in the Alaska region.

With an array of innovative new experiences, guests will enjoy 270-degree sweeping views from the Princess' largest balconies at sea in the Sky Suites, unwind in ultimate comfort at The Sanctuary and indulge the senses with world-class dining options. Plus, Princess live entertainment presents mesmerizing Broadway-style production shows that can only be seen in the state-of-the-art Princess Theater, including the newest show, Spotlight Bar. Discovery Princess uses the latest technologies to reduce fuel consumption, treat wastewater, and support the cruise line's environmental compliance efforts.

In addition, Discovery Princess delivers Princess MedallionClass Vacations which begins with the Medallion™ wearable, a quarter-sized, device that enables everything from expedited contactless boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever guests need, delivered directly to them, wherever they are on the ship. In addition, guests can share their favorite cruise moments using MedallionNet, the best Wi-Fi at sea, as well as stay connected with friends and family back home, work remotely anywhere on the ship, quickly post content and stream favorite movies and shows.

Notable features and entertainment offerings found onboard Discovery Princess include:

• Princess Theater Original Production Shows – Spotlight Bar, debuting in April, is an imaginative new live show that transports guests to a vibrant bar atmosphere where they will meet and connect with local storytellers who will share tales of their lives through song. With a modern-day playlist that will evoke memories and may even inspire dancing among all – bar owner, regulars and patrons alike – Spotlight Bar is sure to bring people together in a place where everyone belongs. Discovery Princess also showcases fan favorite Rock Opera, featuring incredible costumes inspired by glamorous avant garde fashion with a musical soundtrack spanning classic rock, opera and musical theater.

• Sky Suites – First introduced on Sky Princess (2019), the new luxury Sky Suites offer exclusive amenities, attentive service and a dedicated Suite Experience Manager, luxurious accommodations for up to five guests and a 1,000 square-foot balcony featuring 270-degree views from the cruise line's largest balcony at sea.

• 25 Bars & Restaurants – With some of the most al fresco dining options of any Princess ship, Discovery Princess features Bistro Sur La Mer by Three Michelin Star Chef Emmanuel Renaut, Sabatini's Italian Trattoria with its own Pasta Room, Crown Grill Steakhouse and Bar, Crooners, Chef's Table Lumiere, Gigi's Pizzeria, The Salty Dog Gastropub, Gelato, three beautifully appointed Main Dining Rooms and more.

• Take Five – First debuted on Sky Princess, Take Five showcases vintage footage, iconic imagery and intimate conversations that transport you to the heart of the jazz era. Guests can enjoy nightly live jazz while sipping cocktail favorites from Master Mixologist Rob Floyd and specialty gin cocktails crafted exclusively for Take Five.

• Aquatic Relaxation - In addition to multiple hot tubs, Discovery Princess boasts two deep-tank pools, adjacent to the top-deck bar. At the ship's aft end, the infinity-style Wakeview pool and bar offer spectacular views of the horizon, while the Retreat Pool offers a quiet oasis. Discovery Princess also offers signature Princess venues and amenities including the Piazza, Lotus Spa, The Sanctuary, Movies Under the Stars, Princess Live! Café, Good Spirits at Sea Bar, Vegas-Style Casino, The Shops of Princess, Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Center and Discovery at SEA programs.

Carnival Cruise Line Reveals New Miami-themed Zone Aboard Carnival Celebration
Carnival Cruise Line is revealing a new Miami-themed zone aboard Carnival Celebration, which will arrive to PortMiami this November. Named after the address of Carnival's original headquarters, 820 Biscayne will celebrate the culture, architectural styles and flavors of the home city where the line was founded in 1972.

On Deck 8, in the same location as La Piazza on sister ship Mardi Gras, 820 Biscayne will feature a similar layout and venues but with influences and design elements that reflect the urban-meets-laid back vibes of Miami, perfect for relaxing and people watching or enjoying fresh sea air and ocean views. Bringing Miamian food and beverage offerings to the fleet, 820 Biscayne will feature:

• Bar 820 – a half inside, half outside retro-inspired bar that will feature a "vintage cool" design with grab-and-go Cuban and specialty coffees for early risers on their way outside for some morning sunshine, as well as Miami-inspired tropical frozen drinks and creative martinis day and night.

• Deco Deli – designed as a nod to Miami's Art Deco mecca with colorful fonts and signage, the space will serve more than the classic deli sandwiches with an expanded menu that also highlights Miami staples including the Cubano (pork, ham, swiss cheese and mustard), a croqueta sandwich (ham and cheese croqueta, shaved ham and pickles), and pan con lechon (slow cooked pulled pork, melted onion and mojo sauce) all on Cuban bread.

• Miami Slice – continuing to give guests the 24-hour pizza they know and love, the always-popular walk-up spot will offer authentic, fresh-from-the-oven and hand-tossed slices of cheesy goodness amid a contemporary and vibrant décor reminiscent of the late-night eateries on Miami's bustling Ocean Drive.

Throughout this zone, guests will experience a unique take on Miami, combining elements from its past with its present. From beautiful artwork to fun photo opportunities like posing with flamingoes on skateboards, guests will feel like they're truly walking around the '305.'

"Miami has been our home for 50 years, and in bringing a brand new ship to its port, we wanted to show some extra love to the city that helped us become who we are today," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Carnival Celebration will celebrate all things Carnival, intertwining where we have been with where we are going, and we can't think about where we started without thinking about Miami and all of the fun that it represents."

"We wanted to continue to give our guests the delicious and fun offerings they know and love from Mardi Gras but with new identities that pay tribute to the rich culture of Miami, a city that is so special to all of us," said Ben Clement, senior vice president of new builds, refurbishment and product innovation. "Miami is a one-of-a-kind city with many different sides to it, so we tried to capture all of that in 820 Biscayne – from the tropical feel and original Art Deco designs that can still be found on Miami Beach today to the modern city look of Brickell – and of course, with a huge emphasis on the delicious flavors throughout."

Guests can still expect to find their favorites in the zone like Rudi's Seagrill, which was introduced on Mardi Gras, and Cucina del Capitano, which will be redesigned with a new look and feel that reflects the sleek and airy restaurants often found in Miami, as well.

Carnival Celebration will be the second Carnival ship to be powered by a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system, part of Carnival Corporation's green cruising platform, and will include an award-winning roller coaster at the top of the ship. Celebration will debut in November from the redesigned state-of-the-art Terminal F at PortMiami, the line's third terminal at the port and its largest in South Florida. The terminal will be among the first to be shore-power ready in 2023.

Carnival Cruise Line Marks First Steel Cut for Carnival Jubilee
Fifty may be a golden year, but instead it is steel that’s making Carnival Cruise Line’s 50th birthday extra special as the first metal was cut today for Carnival Jubilee which will be arriving to Galveston, Tex. in November 2023.

The festivities took place in Papenberg, Germany, as Carnival Cruise Line and Meyer Werft representatives attended the ship’s steel cutting ceremony, representing the first significant milestone in the vessel’s construction.

The steel cutting ceremony, a maritime tradition, was made uniquely celebratory by Carnival Jubilee’s shipbuilders, as confetti and a champagne toast heightened the excitement of starting construction on the world’s latest fun ship. At the shipyard’s laser center, silhouette of the ship was cut from the steel and signed by everyone in attendance. A special plaque was also cut from the same piece of steel to commemorate Carnival’s 50th birthday.

“It’s our birthday and with today’s steel cutting for Carnival Jubilee, this is a great way to honor the accomplishments of Carnival Cruise Line’s first 50 years and to celebrate the excitement ahead,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival Cruise Line’s president.

The 182,800-ton ship is part of the Carnival’s Excel-class design first delivered by the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland.

“This is the first ship Meyer Werft is building for Carnival Cruise Line and the first time a ship design has been transferred from Meyer Turku to Meyer Werft, which shows our flexibility,” said Jan Meyer, Meyer Werft’s managing director.

Carnival Jubilee will be an important enhancement to the vibrant set of cruise offerings out of Galveston which has established Carnival as the industry leader in the Texas cruise market. She’ll share many of the same exciting experiences already thrilling guests on Mardi Gras, including the award-winning BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, and she’ll also feature some unique design elements and signature venues all her own.

Carnival Jubilee is sister ship to Mardi Gras, which sails from Port Canaveral, Fla. and has quickly become one of the most popular ships in cruising, as well as Carnival Celebration, which will be based in Miami beginning later this year. Excel-class ships run on a liquefied natural gas (LNG) technology platform. Carnival Corporation pioneered the introduction of LNG fuel in the passenger cruise sector as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and emissions reduction.

Carnival Jubilee will offer seven-day Western Caribbean cruise vacations from the Port of Galveston beginning Nov. 18, 2023 with stops in Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico, as well as Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan), Honduras.

Royal Caribbean Reveals Adventures For 2023-24 Australia Season
Starting October 2023, a summer full of memories and untamed adventure is on the horizon as Royal Caribbean International announces its bold season of 2023-2024 Australia cruises packed with returning favourites, firsts and new itineraries. Ovation and Quantum of the Seas, among the world’s most ground-breaking cruise ships, return to Australia to sail from Brisbane and Sydney. The season also welcomes a big Down Under debut with the arrival of Enchantment of the Seas, touting new destinations and itineraries from Sydney.

Adventurers of all ages can experience the region’s spectacular beauty on varying itineraries that range from 2-night getaways to 19-night adventures. Guests can visit multiple destinations of 38 gems of the Southern Hemisphere from one day to the next, including locales along the rich coasts of Australia, the Land of the Long White Cloud and the postcard-perfect beaches of the South Pacific.

“It’s thrilling to welcome back two Quantum Class ships Down Under, demonstrating Royal Caribbean’s commitment to the region. Plus, because there’s always more room for adventure with Royal Caribbean, we’ve taken the opportunity to bring Enchantment of the Seas to Australia to offer unique sailings that visit new destinations we know our guests are excited to explore,” said Gavin Smith, managing director of Australia and New Zealand, Royal Caribbean International. “We look forward to even more guests, their loved ones and families creating memories while holidaying with us in several of the most spectacular places on earth.”

2023-2024 Highlights

Quantum of the Seas – Cruising from Brisbane
Headlining the line-up in Australia is Quantum, returning for an encore after its first summer season sailing from Brisbane in 2022. Holidaymakers can choose from 3- to 13-night cruises to explore Queensland’s stunning coast, including destinations such as Airlie Beach and Cairns, Queensland; or discover the untouched beauty of the South Pacific by visiting places like Port Vila, Vanuatu, and Noumea, New Caledonia.

Ovation of the Seas – Cruising from Sydney
Ovation, one of the most tech-forward ships, will set sail on its fifth season in the region. Holidaymakers can choose from a mix of 20 cruises, including 9- to 11-night sailings that visit destinations along New Zealand’s rugged coastline like Milford Sound, Wellington and Bay of Islands. Guests can also pick from a series of 3- to 9-night getaways around Australia to visit Hobart, Adelaide and Eden; as well as cruises to the South Pacific islands.

Enchantment of the Seas – Cruising from Sydney
Highlights of Enchantment’s inaugural season in Australia include new destinations for Royal Caribbean: Kangaroo Island and Gladstone, Australia. Holidaymakers can escape to the South Pacific on 8- to 11-night sailings and visit Isle of Pines, Mare and Noumea, New Caledonia; Lifou, Loyalty Islands as well as Port Vila in Vanuatu. A series of special cruises are also on deck, including an 11-night South Pacific and Fiji Christmas cruise, and longer sailings of 16 and 18 nights to locales along Australia’s Top End and West Coast, such as Darwin, Exmouth and Fremantle. Guests can combine the two itineraries back-to-back to enjoy a 34-night Australia and New Zealand adventure.

The 2023-2024 season will see Royal Caribbean capture the imaginations of families and adventurous holidaymakers alike. Sailing in style from one destination to the next on Quantum and Ovation, guests can catch waves on the FlowRider surf simulator, shoot hoops or battle it out on the indoor dodgems at the largest indoor activity complex at sea, SeaPlex. Enchantment’s debut will offer guests a wide range of accommodation options, and the ship is ideal for those who enjoy a more intimate cruise experience alongside destination-rich itineraries. With the option of three ships and a variety of domestic and international itineraries, there’s a line-up of new ways to explore and seek adventure for everyone next summer.

Celebrity Cruises Launches All-inclusive Advertising Campaign
Celebrity Cruises is launching a bold new initiative to change the meaning of "all-inclusive" in the travel industry.

Recognizing the need to improve the representation of all people who travel in marketing materials, the new-luxury cruise line has created both a new campaign and the world's first free to use, 'open source' travel image library. The campaign and collection - 'The All-Inclusive Photo Project' (AIPP) - aims to start a movement, calling on travel companies to help address the lack of diversity in travel marketing imagery.

The stunning new images were unveiled today and feature the work of acclaimed photographers including: Annie Leibovitz, herself an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community; Giles Duley, an English documentary photographer and a triple amputee; Naima Green, a Black, queer New York-based photographer; and Jarrad Seng, an Australia-based photographer, filmmaker and creative director of Malaysian-Chinese descent.

The collection features models, musicians, athletes, artists, activists, refugees and more, all change-makers in their own right from underrepresented groups, as they enjoy the varied offerings on Celebrity's ships and within the destinations visited.

Celebrity Cruises will make dozens of the images available via an open-source online library for other travel brands and companies to use to help kickstart their journeys towards more inclusive travel marketing.

"For far too long, 'all-inclusive' in the travel industry has meant everything on your vacation is included in one price. We set out to challenge this conventional thinking by imagining the phrase through the lens of others," said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. "What Annie and all of the talented artists involved in this project have captured so beautifully, is that for vacations to really live up to the marketing moniker 'all-inclusive,' then they should start by using images that are inclusive of all, not just a few."

Lutoff-Perlo continued: "We want our marketing - as with everything we do as a cruise line - to represent how the world looks, and what we experience on our ships daily, as guests and crew from all walks of life work and play together to create a really special onboard environment."

"As global brands, we have a powerful platform to act as a catalyst of positive change. We know we have more work to do and we hope we inspire others to join us on this important journey. By leveraging our collective travel industry might, we can begin to make travel marketing truly 'all-inclusive," said Michael Scheiner, Celebrity Cruises' Chief Marketing Officer.

Framed through the lenses of Leibovitz and the other AIPP photographers, the images feature the change-makers experiencing the wonder of travel and include:

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz

• Jillian Mercado, a professional model in the fashion industry with muscular dystrophy, enjoying a new culinary experience on a Celebrity ship;

• John Forté, a Black recording artist who rose to stardom with multi-platinum hip-hop group The Fugees and now works with at-risk youth to deter them from drugs and crime, making memories with his family on their first cruise ship sailing together;

• Abby Chava Stein, the first openly transgender woman raised in an Hasidic community and a direct descendant of Hasidic Judaism's founder, the Baal Shem Tov, basking in the sunlight on the Resort Deck of a Celebrity Cruises ship;

Photographed by Giles Duley

• Amy Conroy, pictured playing volleyball on the beaches of Spain, who was diagnosed with cancer at age 12, and, after a year of chemotherapy and a leg amputation, went on to be play Wheelchair Basketball for Great Britain as a three-time Paralympian, U25 World Champion and MVP, and Senior World and European Silver Medalist.

Photographed by Naima Green

• Micah Ramos, a Filipino, non-binary model who loves being a catalyst for individuality, shown enjoying vacation time on a Caribbean island; Photographed by Jarred Seng

• Ester Onek, a social worker, advocate and refugee from the South Sudan, who made her way to Australia in 2003, depicted enjoying the beaches of Margaret River in western Australia.

Celebrity Cruises will launch the AIPP collection as a dedicated brand advertising campaign in early April.

It follows a global advertising campaign the brand introduced last September, called "Journey WonderFULL," marking a distinctive and bold new approach for the new-luxury travel brand and the first major step to advance diversity and inclusivity in its own travel marketing with a wide range of diverse travelers depicted.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 19.40 + 2.37%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 78.54 + 3.82%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 20.54 + 4.64%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Before selecting the former France for conversion into the cruise ship Norway, NCL examined three other 900 ft + former liners. Name at least two of the three former liners they did not select.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
When French Line's France entered service in 1961 the Salle Des Sports (Sports' Center) on Sun Deck featured what must have been a unique shipboard diversion. What were they? (Hint: there were two of them).

Answer - When French Line's France entered service in 1961 the Salle Des Sports (Sports' Center) on Sun Deck featured bowling lanes. courtesy of Sheila Cooper, Boston, MA.


Cruise News - March 21, 2022

Katy Perry Named Godmother Of Norwegian Cruise Line's Newest Ship, Norwegian Prima
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced today that pop icon and "American Idol" judge Katy Perry will serve as the godmother to its record-breaking and innovative newest ship, Norwegian Prima, debuting August 2022.

As godmother, Perry will not only fulfill the longstanding maritime tradition of blessing and officially naming Norwegian Prima, the first of six vessels in the Prima Class, but she will perform during the christening ceremony before Norwegian Prima sets sail on its inaugural voyages from Reykjavík, Iceland, where the vessel will be the first major cruise ship christened in the Icelandic capital.

A vital and familiar element of any ship launch and dating back centuries, the highly regarded tradition of appointing a ship's godmother is a fundamental nautical custom during which the selected godmother officiates a ceremonial breaking of a champagne bottle on the ship's bow to bid the vessel and its travelers good fortune.

"We are so excited to welcome Katy Perry, a one-of-a-kind artist and worldwide sensation, as godmother of Norwegian Prima," said Harry Sommer, President and CEO of NCL. "We are so incredibly proud that she will be part of the Norwegian Cruise Line family and look forward to launching our beautiful, innovative ship with her in August."

"My most favorite way to vacation with my family is on the water. Every morning that you wake up, you get to experience an incredible new view," said Katy Perry. "I love that I get to christen her with my good vibrations, and I'm so excited for this new, beautiful, high-end, high-tech ship to take the seas, and provide once-in-a-lifetime vacations for so many families."

Norwegian Prima is the company's most in-demand vessel ever launched, delivering world-class service, thoughtful design, unforgettable itineraries, and an unrivaled guest experience.

While on board, guests can escape to Ocean Boulevard, featuring multiple infinity pools and Oceanwalk glass bridges with breathtaking ocean and destination views, visit Indulge, the Brand's first-ever upscale international dining open-air marketplace or relax on The Concourse, featuring an outdoor sculpture garden boasting "Instagrammable" installations by famed artists David Harber and Alexander Krivosheiw. Designed by the master architects at Piero Lissoni, the ship's revamped luxurious centralized suite complex, The Haven By Norwegian will feature 107 staterooms spanning eight decks with a stunning new infinity pool overlooking the ship's wake and a new outdoor spa with a glass-walled sauna and cold room. Most recently, NCL unveiled its remaining culinary and beverage offerings available on Norwegian Prima and Viva, including the Brand's first sustainably-focused lounge, The Metropolitan and its ultra-upscale Mediterranean seafood specialty restaurant Palomar.

Launching August 2022, Norwegian Prima will offer inaugural voyages to Northern Europe from Southampton, England; Amsterdam; and Reykjavík, Iceland beginning Aug.12; Bermuda sailings from New York City beginning Oct. 6; and Caribbean itineraries from Galveston, Texas and Miami beginning Oct. 27.

To commemorate this exciting partnership and celebrating other entertainment headliners that will be featured on Norwegian Prima, NCL has put together a celebratory Spotify playlist.

Alison Levine Named Godmother Of New Seabourn Venture
Seabourn is delighted to announce that global adventurer, mountaineer and polar-explorer Alison Levine will serve as Godmother of Seabourn Venture, the first of the line's two new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition vessels. Levine will be on board and in the spotlight for the traditional naming and christening of the ship, which is set to launch in July 2022.

Seabourn names adventurer and polar-explorer, Alison Levine Godmother of its first expedition ship, Seabourn Venture.

"With her extraordinary history of travel and adventure, familiarity with the most striking of destinations, and her deep roots in the expedition world, Alison is a perfect choice to send Seabourn Venture off to explore the most-remote corners of the globe," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "We are excited for Alison to take the mantle as Godmother of our first expedition vessel, and we're certain she will embrace her role with the same passion she brings to everything she does."

"I am truly honored and beyond excited to have been asked to become Godmother of Seabourn Venture and to be part of the line's new chapter in expedition cruising," said Levine. "I'm thrilled to be representing a company that embodies what the true adventure and expedition spirit is all about."

Levine is an idyllic choice for Godmother of Seabourn Venture, which is being built to seek out adventure and natural wonders around the world. A native of Phoenix, she served as team captain of the first American Women's Everest Expedition in 2002, and in 2010 completed her bid for the Explorer's Grand Slam which includes climbing the Seven Summits – the highest peak on each continent – as well as skiing to the North and South Poles.

Levine has also seen success in the business world. She earned her MBA from Duke University and worked in the pharmaceutical industry as well as on Wall Street with Goldman Sachs. After turns as deputy finance director for Arnold Schwarzenegger's successful bid to become Governor of California and as an adjunct professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, she went on to become one of the world's most in-demand leadership consultants and keynote speakers. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller, "On the Edge: Leadership Lessons from Mount Everest and Other Extreme Environments", which chronicles the lessons she learned on her various expeditions. In 2019 she received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, an award she shares with seven U.S. Presidents and numerous Nobel Prize winners.

Levine has also shared her experiences, insights and tales of adventure with guests of Seabourn through Seabourn Conversations, the line's popular onboard enrichment program, aboard Seabourn Sojourn in December 2019. It was her first-ever cruise – a trip she never thought she would do – but she admits she is hooked and looks forward to more travels by ship in the future.

Seabourn Venture and its sister expedition ship, Seabourn Pursuit, will feature 132 luxurious oceanfront veranda suites and take travelers to some of the most awe-inspiring places in the world, some of which are only accessed by ship.

Carnival Corporation & Plc Provides First Quarter 2022 Business Update
Carnival Corporation & plc provided the following first quarter 2022 business update this week:

• U.S. GAAP net loss of $1.9 billion and adjusted net loss of $1.9 billion for the first quarter of 2022.

• First quarter 2022 ended with $7.2 billion of liquidity, including cash, short-term investments and borrowings available under the company's revolving credit facility.

• For the cruise segments, revenue per passenger cruise day ("PCD") for the first quarter of 2022 increased approximately 7.5% compared to a strong 2019. This increase was driven by exceptionally strong onboard and other revenue.

• As of March 22, 2022, 75% of the company's capacity had resumed guest cruise operations.

• Carnival said that it expects to have each brand's full fleet back in guest cruise operations for its respective summer season where it historically generates the largest share of its operating income.

• Carnival said that it believes monthly adjusted EBITDA will turn positive at the beginning of its summer season.

• Since the middle of January, Carnival said that it has seen an improving trend in weekly booking volumes for future sailings. Recent weekly booking volumes have been higher than at any point since the restart of guest cruise operations.

• Carnival said that it announced that three additional ships are expected to leave the fleet in 2022 in connection with its ongoing fleet optimization strategy. In total, this represents the planned removal of 22 smaller-less efficient ships since the beginning of the pause in guest cruise operations. Building on the company's strong governance framework and its continued commitment to sustainability, the Boards of Directors appointed the company's President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald to the role of

• Chief Climate Officer.

First Quarter 2022 Results and Statistical Information

• For the cruise segments, revenue per PCD for the first quarter of 2022 increased approximately 7.5% compared to a strong 2019. This increase was driven by exceptionally strong onboard and other revenue.

• During the first quarter of 2022, as a result of the Omicron variant, Carnival said that it experienced an impact on bookings for its near-term sailings, including higher cancellations resulting from an increase in pre-travel positive test results, challenges in the availability of timely pre-travel tests and the disruption Omicron caused on society overall during this time. Therefore, occupancy in the first quarter of 2022 was 54%, a 20% increase in guests carried over the prior quarter.

• Available lower berth days ("ALBD") for the first quarter of 2022 were 13 million, which represents 60% of total fleet capacity, increasing from 47% in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Carnival Corporation & plc President, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Climate Officer Arnold Donald noted, "Despite the impact of Omicron, guests carried grew by nearly 20 percent in the first quarter compared to the prior quarter, while simultaneously increasing revenue per passenger cruise day and driving an improvement in adjusted EBITDA. We expect monthly adjusted EBITDA to turn positive by the beginning of our summer season as we build occupancy and return more ships to service."

Donald added, "We believe we have positioned the company well to withstand volatility on our path to profitability and have been working hard to resume operations as a stronger and more sustainable operating company, to maximize cash generation and to deliver double digit returns on invested capital over time."

Despite the impact resulting from the Omicron variant during the first quarter, the company's adjusted EBITDA (see non-GAAP Financial Measures) improved due to its ongoing resumption of guest cruise operations. Carnival said that it believes that adjusted EBITDA will continue to improve with the ongoing resumption of guest cruise operations and continues to expect improvement in occupancy throughout 2022 until it returns to historical levels in 2023. Carnival said that it believes monthly adjusted EBITDA will turn positive at the beginning of its summer season.

Carnival said that it ended the first quarter of 2022 with $7.2 billion of liquidity, including cash, short-term investments and borrowings available under the revolving credit facility. Carnival said that it invested $400 million in capital expenditures (net of export credit facilities) during the first quarter of 2022, which included the delivery of three of the four larger-more efficient ships expected to be delivered in 2022. In addition, the company repaid $500 million of debt principal and incurred $400 million of interest expense, net during the quarter.

Carnival Corporation & plc Chief Financial Officer David Bernstein noted, "We ended the first quarter of 2022 with $7.2 billion of liquidity. Looking forward, we believe we remain well positioned given our liquidity and the continued improvement expected in adjusted EBITDA, along with the expected build in customer deposits, as we progress toward resuming full fleet operations."

Resumption of Guest Cruise Operations
Donald noted, "Since resuming guest cruise operations, we delivered more than 2.2 million exceptional vacations while achieving historically high guest satisfaction scores. With 75 percent of our capacity having resumed guest cruise operations, we are well on our way back to full cruise operations and we are planning to return the balance of the fleet by our summer seasons. Achieving these operational milestones while facing headwinds including Delta and Omicron variants and changing regulations and protocols —particularly at our scale— makes the efforts of our team, ship and shore, all the more impressive."

Donald continued, "In addition, we furthered our fleet optimization efforts by taking delivery of three larger-more efficient ships during the quarter, Costa Toscana and AIDAcosma, the company's fifth and sixth ships powered by LNG and Discovery Princess. We also announced the removal of another three smaller-less efficient ships, bringing the total to 22 ships, significantly reducing our rate of capacity growth. Upon returning to full operations, nearly 25 percent of our capacity will consist of newly delivered ships, which we believe will expedite our return to profitability and improve our return on invested capital."

As of March 22, 2022, 75% of the company's capacity had resumed guest cruise operations as part of its ongoing return to service. Carnival said that it 's enhanced COVID-19 protocols have helped it become among the safest forms of socializing and travel, with far lower incidence rates than on land. Carnival said that it expects to have each brand's full fleet back in guest cruise operations for its respective summer season where it historically generates the largest share of its operating income.

Upon returning to full cruise operations, the company's ongoing fleet optimization strategy combined with its LNG efforts and other innovative initiatives to drive energy efficiency are forecasted to deliver a 10% reduction in fuel consumption per ALBD and a 9% reduction in carbon emissions per ALBD on an annualized basis compared to 2019.

While Carnival said that it will benefit from the removal of smaller-less efficient ships and the delivery of larger-more efficient ships, Carnival said that it expects adjusted cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD (see Non-GAAP Financial Measures) for the full year 2022, to be significantly higher than 2019. This is driven by a portion of its fleet being in pause status for part of the year, restart related expenses, an increase in the number of dry-dock days, the cost of maintaining enhanced health and safety protocols and inflation. Carnival said that it anticipates that many of these costs and expenses will end in 2022 and will not reoccur in 2023. Additionally, Carnival said that it expects to see a significant improvement in adjusted cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD from the first half of 2022 to the second half of 2022 with a low double-digit increase for the full year 2022 compared to 2019.

The ongoing resumption of the company's guest cruise operations and the increased uncertainty given the current invasion of Ukraine, including its effect on the price of fuel, are collectively having a material impact on its business, including the company's liquidity, financial position and results of operations. Carnival said that it continues to expect a net loss for the second quarter of 2022 on both a U.S. GAAP and adjusted basis. However, Carnival said that it expects a profit for the third quarter of 2022. For the full year 2022, Carnival said that it expects a net loss.

Update on Bookings
Donald added, "Given the recent strengthening in booking volumes coupled with the closer-in booking patterns, we expect an extended wave season. In fact, we gained occupancy even in the month of March with fleetwide occupancy nearing 70 percent and several sailings already exceeding 100 percent."

Since the middle of January, Carnival said that it has seen an improving trend in weekly booking volumes for future sailings. Recent weekly booking volumes have been higher than at any point since the restart of guest cruise operations.

During the first quarter, Carnival said that it increased its booked occupancy position for the second half of 2022, albeit not at the same pace as a typical wave season due to the Omicron variant. As a result, cumulative advance bookings for the second half of 2022 are at the lower-end of the historical range. However, Carnival said that it believes it is well situated with its current second half 2022 booked position given the recent improvements in booking volumes and its continued expectation that occupancy will build throughout 2022 and return to historical levels in 2023. Normalized for bundled packages, prices on bookings for the second half of 2022 continue to be higher, with or without future cruise credits ("FCCs"), as compared to 2019 sailings.

Cumulative advanced bookings for the first half of 2023 continues to be both at the higher end of the historical range and at higher prices, with or without FCCs, normalized for bundled packages, as compared to 2019 sailings. (Due to the ongoing resumption of guest cruise operations, Carnival said that it 's current booking trends will be compared to booking trends for 2019 sailings.)

Total customer deposits increased to $3.7 billion as of February 28, 2022 from $3.5 billion as of November 30, 2021.

Holland America Line Speeds Up Embarkation Process with mBark Facial Recognition and VeriFLY Vaccine Verification Program
Holland America Line is enhancing the preboarding guest experience and making embarkation easier by adding the use of mBark facial recognition and the VeriFLY vaccine verification program in all U.S., Canadian and European homeports.

mBark is a mobile system that enables guests to check in for their cruise in less than 10 seconds, while the VeriFLY digital wallet for COVID-19 credentials offers a proven solution for proof of vaccination and test results.

"Holland America Line continues to look for ways that make the cruising experience better for our guests as we navigate protocols and best practices for today's travelers," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "We recently completed testing with VeriFLY and mBark on a few sailings, and the most common comment from guests was, 'That's it?' because it's so fast and efficient."

With mBark facial recognition, guests who load their photo and all necessary pretravel information to Holland America Line's website prior to embarkation will be able to use the touchless system. Following a quick face scan, guests can move through the check-in process in about 10 seconds, significantly reducing embarkation time. SKO Systems, based in London, England, designed and implemented mBark for Holland America Line.

VeriFLY gives guests the option to upload the required information to the app, including proof of vaccination and test results, providing a way to go through the screening process prior to arrival at the terminal. Once registration is complete, guests simply need to show the VeriFLY QR code or "pass" (digital or printed) to the check-in agent. VeriFLY has a successful record of serving dozens of airlines, cruise lines, hotels and a variety of industries. The VeriFLY app is available for download at Google Play and the Apple App Store.

"Holland America Line is recognized globally for providing an outstanding travel experience, and so we are delighted to be able to partner with the cruise line to bring their guests the convenience and peace of mind that comes with VeriFLY," said Daon Chief Executive Officer Tom Grissen.

VeriFLY launched on Rotterdam in March and will now roll out to other ships in the fleet by the end of March and begin with the remaining ships as they return to cruising. mBark also will launch with ships as they return to service and will begin in other embarkation ports as the ships move to new cruising regions.

Oceania Cruises Appoints Frank Del Rio Jr. As Chief Sales & Marketing Officer

Oceania Cruises announced the appointment of Frank Del Rio Jr. as Chief Sales & Marketing Officer for the brand. As Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Del Rio will be responsible for all sales and marketing activities across the globe and lead the teams based in the brand's offices in Miami, Southampton, Sydney, and Sao Paulo. This appointment marks Del Rio's return to the company and a continuation of his 14-year tenure, which ran from 2003 through 2017.

During his time at Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and ultimately at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., Del Rio rose to the rank of Senior Vice President and led all aspects of Port and Destination Services along with Onboard Revenue. During this period, Del Rio spearheaded tremendous leaps in innovation and product development, achieved significant financial efficiencies and organizational synergies, and drove record-breaking and industry-leading results in the form of revenue increases.

"I'm delighted to add Frank and his many talents to the already stellar team at Oceania Cruises. His passion, enthusiasm, and day-one familiarity with the brand, our guests, and our travel partners will take us from strength to strength," stated Howard Sherman, President & CEO of Oceania Cruises.

Del Rio is well acquainted with the line's travel partners and the retail distribution network that drives the industry. Over the course of his career, he has worked closely with many of the top travel companies such as Go Next, Food & Wine Trails, and Virtuoso Travel Network to develop new and unique destination programs for their clientele.

"I'm thrilled to be returning to a brand that I am so truly passionate about and is embedded in my DNA. I'm also eager to reconnect with the best sales and marketing team in the industry," stated Frank Del Rio Jr. "Oceania's successes are often imitated but never replicated and I look forward to many more of these great successes as we evolve and grow the acclaimed Oceania Cruises brand," added Del Rio.

Most recently, Del Rio has been involved in the private equity, finance, and tech spaces, where he was involved across a wide spectrum of products and industries, including AI, telecommunications and 5G network solutions, medical, and real estate development. A consistent thread across all of his experiences in these realms was digital transformation and disruption.

Del Rio resides in south Florida with his wife and two children. An ardent philanthropist, Del Rio devotes much of his free time to fundraising and volunteer work for multiple charities and nonprofits that provide support to those less fortunate.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 18.95 + 10.69%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 75.65 + 11.05%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 19.63 + 15.06%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When French Line's France entered service in 1961 the Salle Des Sports (Sports' Center) on Sun Deck featured what must have been a unique shipboard diversion. What were they? (Hint: there were two of them).

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which famous liner is credited with starting the Art Deco movement at sea and what year did she enter service?

Answer - The first Art Deco liner was the Ile-de-France de France of the French line. With three funnels she entered service in 1927. After WW II she was refitted and entered service with 2 funnels in 1949. The Ile de France was retired in 1959. courtesy of Hans-Peter Lemcke-Braselmann


Cruise News - March 14, 2022

Princess Cruises Announces New Fleet Deployment Plans Through April 2023
Princess Cruises announced new deployment plans for the United States with a return to homeport cruising in Galveston, Texas starting in December 2022, and San Diego starting in September 2022. Princess is planning return to service in Australia with Coral Princess starting in June 2022 following indications authorities are becoming more comfortable with a return to service in the region.

"Deploying these three ships to service over the next two months will mark the return of the entire Princess fleet, once our highly anticipated return to Australia is approved by local authorities," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "Returning a ship to San Diego gives more options for our west coast guests and Galveston makes a Princess cruise easily accessible to millions of Texans."

Princess Returns to Galveston – Ruby Princess
After six years, Princess returns to homeport cruising from Texas. Ruby Princess will sail from December 2022 to April 2023, on a series of cruises from Galveston ranging from five to 11 days, calling mainly to destinations in the Western Caribbean. The ship will also sail through the Panama Canal on two 16-day, ocean-to-ocean transits between Galveston and San Francisco. Cruises will be on sale April 7, 2022.

Cruises from San Diego – Diamond Princess
From September 2022 through February 2023, cruising in California expands with a return to San Diego. Diamond Princess will be joining the fleet of west coast-based ships with a series of brand-new cruise itineraries ranging from five to 16 days and calling at ports along the Mexican Riviera, California Coast, and the Hawaiian Islands. In addition, the ship will sail a unique 20-day cruise to Central America, roundtrip from San Diego in November 2022. The on-sale date for these cruises is March 24, 2022.

New San Francisco Hometown Ship – Royal Princess
Royal Princess moves to San Francisco for the West Coast 2022/2023 season, with roundtrip cruises to Hawaii, Mexico, and the California Coast. Arriving in September 2022, after completing the Alaska season, Royal Princess will initially sail from San Francisco along with Ruby Princess. In December 2022, Ruby Princess relocates to Galveston and Royal Princess becomes the official hometown ship of San Francisco for the remainder of the 2022/2023 season. These cruises go on sale April 7, 2022.

A Return to Cruising in Australia Planned – Coral Princess
In anticipation that Australian Federal and State Governments will soon welcome the return of cruising, we are announcing plans for Coral Princess return to service in June 2022, with roundtrip Brisbane itineraries ranging from three- to 12-days in length and calling to destinations in Queensland and New South Wales. In August, Coral Princess will position to Sydney and depart on a new 12-day voyage calling to Queensland and the Conflict Islands in Papua New Guinea, before resuming the previously announced Australia & New Zealand program for the 2022/2023 season. Additionally, Majestic Princess will sail roundtrip from Sydney on a new Queensland voyage in February 2023 at the end of her already published season. Full details will be announced on March 17 and these Australia cruises will go on sale March 23, 2022.

As a result of these changes, previously published itineraries through April 2023 on Diamond Princess, and Royal Princess to Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific, as well as two Ruby Princess Panama Canal sailings in February 2023 and select voyages on Majestic Princess in Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific from February 2023 to May 2023 will be cancelled. Guests affected by these cancellations will be notified.

Carnival Cruise Line Commemorates 50 Years Of Fun
Carnival Cruise Line today marked a half a century since its maiden voyage from PortMiami with a celebration aboard Carnival Conquest. Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy was joined by Carnival Corp. Chairman Micky Arison and Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald; U.S. Representatives Frederica Wilson and Vern Buchanan; Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava; Doral Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez; Miami industry and community leaders; as well as Carnival leadership.

At the event, Carnival announced a $50,000 donation to World Central Kitchen to support Ukrainian relief efforts and in the name of its more than 300 team members from the country. Duffy also presented a $50,000 donation to Carnival's long-standing partner Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami. Mayor Levine Cava presented Duffy with a commemorative gift marking the occasion and Mayor Bermudez read a proclamation declaring March 11, 2022 as Carnival Cruise Line Day in Doral.

"On this very day, 50 years ago, history was made when the first Carnival Cruise Line ship, the TSS Mardi Gras, embarked on her maiden voyage from right here at PortMiami," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "For half a century, we have made cruising available to everyone and have provided millions of people with fun and memorable vacations. It's an honor to be celebrating our five decades of sailing with so many of our partners. We look forward to what the next 50 years holds."

Carnival's 50-year collaboration with Miami-Dade County and PortMiami has resulted in significant economic development for the region, most recently the expansion of the state-of-the-art Terminal F at PortMiami. The Terminal F development team celebrated an important construction milestone today with the topping off of the building and eagerly anticipates the project's completion and ribbon-cutting this fall. The terminal will be among the first to be shore-power ready in 2023.

Terminal F will also serve as the homeport for Carnival Celebration, which will be unveiled later this year as part of the culmination of Carnival's 50th birthday festivities. After Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration will be the second Excel-class ship to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and include an award-winning roller coaster at the top of the ship. A third Excel-class ship, Carnival Jubilee, will join the fleet in 2023 and homeport in Galveston.

Over the years, Carnival has maintained a strong commitment to supporting the communities in which it operates, including its hometown of Miami. In addition to a national partnership with St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and Operation Homefront, Carnival has hosted hundreds of Miami-Dade high school students at its headquarters as part of the Carnival Scholarship and Mentoring Program, and since 2007, has provided 195 scholarships valued at $4 million.

Carnival currently employs more than 40,000 team members from 120 nationalities. As America's Cruise Line and the flagship brand of Carnival Corporation, Carnival has made cruising accessible and fun for more than 90 million passengers since its inception. Each year, approximately six million passengers set sail on 23 ships from 14 U.S. homeports and call on popular international destinations.

In addition to today's party in Miami, Carnival's year-long 50th birthday celebrations included 17 commemorative Sailabrations cruises that featured at-sea ship meetups, special entertainment and programming.

Carnival is sailing from all its year-round U.S. homeports, and its entire fleet will be back in service by this summer, completing an impressive and successful restart of its guest operations and setting the pace for the rest of the U.S. cruise industry.

CDC Lowers Covid Threat Level For Cruising
The CDC lowered its Covid-19 notice to Level 2 "moderate" risk for cruise travelers, down from "high" risk Level 3.

Level 2 is the lowest level the CDC has issued for cruise travel since the pandemic began in 2020.

Under the current level, the CDC advises that travelers be up to date with Covid-19 vaccines before cruising and warns those who are not up to date with their vaccinations or are at increased risk for severe illness should avoid cruise travel.

"The virus that causes Covid-19 spreads easily between people in close quarters on board ships, and the chance of getting Covid-19 on cruise ships is moderate, even if you are up to date with your Covid-19 vaccines," reads the notice from the CDC.

The CDC recommends that guests wear masks when indoors, outside of their own cabins.

The agency also advises cruisers to check the color code of their ship to review how many cases have been reported and to check the ship's vaccination status. The CDC recommends travelers take a Covid test three to five days after their cruise, regardless of vaccination status.

Holland America Line's 'Alaska Up Close' Programming Delivers Authentic Cultural, Culinary and Shoreside Experiences
Holland America Line has been exploring Alaska since 1947, and the premium cruise line is putting 75 years of expertise into new "Alaska Up Close" programming — a 360° experience that immerses guests in The Great Land in a way that only Holland America Line can deliver.

Through authentic experiences on board and ashore that focus on culture, cuisine and immersive adventures, "Alaska Up Close" allows guests to discover, taste and experience the real Alaska. Guests won't just cruise Glacier Bay, they will discover its ecosystem from native tribe members and National Park Rangers. Guest won't simply eat seafood, they will taste the salmon they caught that day and have it prepared by Holland America Line chefs.

"Alaska is so abundant that it needs to be explored and presented differently, and with 'Alaska Up Close' our guests will have access to activities and experiences that they won't find anywhere else," said Beth Bodensteiner, senior vice president and chief commercial officer, Holland America Line. "We want our guests to be immersed in Alaska from the moment they step on board, and as we celebrate 75 years of exploring Alaska in 2022, we tapped into our unparalleled expertise to craft memorable and exclusive programming."

Alaska Up Close features local experts and personalities leading workshops and lectures, Explorations Central (EXC) Talks revealing the stories of real Alaskans, tours highlighting the best of each destination, Port to Table culinary immersion and local cuisine served in dining venues throughout the ship.

EXC Talks Focus on History and Culture:

Elevating the shipboard lecture, EXC Talks offer insight into local culture through the eyes of Alaskans with vivid imagery, compelling interviews and authentic stories:

• "Breaking the Ice Ceiling" features stories of Alaskan women working in fields traditionally dominated by men.

• "Ancestral Memories" tells the stories of native Alaskans keeping their culture and language alive.

• "Pacific Giants" describes the wonders, habits and future of Alaska's largest inhabitants.

• "Iditarod — The Last Great Race" shares what it's like to ride in the sled of this amazing Alaskan adventure.

Meet Alaska Locals and Experts On Board

Guests will learn the science and history of Alaska's splendors as naturalists lead workshops and host wildlife spotting on deck. Itineraries that include Glacier Bay National Park will feature a Park Ranger and a member of the Huna Tlingit Tribe who will share their insights, offer commentary and answer questions.

BBC Earth Brings Alaska to Life in an Epic Production

Guests on all Alaska cruises will be moved by BBC Earth's "Alaska in Concert" multimedia performance on the main stage. A live orchestra plays the soul-stirring soundtrack set against a backdrop of mesmerizing footage from the BBC Earth television series "Wild Alaska." Audiences experience the cycle of four seasons and see this land is as unforgiving as it is beautiful.

Eat Like a Local

Through Port to Table programming, guests delve into the culinary traditions of Alaska and learn how to eat like a local via live cooking demonstrations.

Food & Wine Tours Highlight Local Fare

Food lovers will find much to explore on an Alaska cruise, and through an array of exclusive FOOD & WINE shore excursions guests can tap into Alaska's unique gastronomic scene. Developed in partnership with the culinary authority, guests can dine on some of the world's freshest seafood, sample Anchorage's craft beer, taste fire-warmed sourdough rolls and attend an authentic crab feast or salmon bake.

Alaska Shore Excursions for Every Interest

Holland America Line offers a wide selection of award-winning shore excursions to suit every interest and activity level. Helicopter onto a glacier, spy on whales in their natural habitat, go whitewater rafting or kayaking for a scenic adventure, strike it rich panning for gold and sail on a real crabbing boat featured on "Deadliest Catch." Otters, bears and eagles await. Every tour provides an in-depth glimpse into The Great Land. 'Savor My Catch' Ocean-to-Table Dining Guests who reel in a big one on select fishing-focused shore excursions can savor every bite of their catch on board. Holland America Line's expert chefs will prepare and serve it in a true ocean-to-table experience. Select tours also allow guests to ship their bounty home. Raptor Encounters on Westerdam Guests on Westerdam will have the opportunity to meet and learn about raptors during calls at Sitka. Through presentations and interactions about the birds from the Alaska Raptor Center, guests will be able to ask questions, have a meet-and-greet and photo opportunity with the charismatic Red Tail Hawk or Northern Goshawk.

Seabourn Is Set To Explore Alaska And British Columbia And Canada And New England In 2022
Following the recent announcement from Transport Canada allowing the safe resumption of cruising to visit Canadian ports, Seabourn is finalizing plans for its 2022 scheduled voyages to Alaska and British Columbia in this summer and Canada and New England in the fall.

The new guidance paves the way for Seabourn guests to sail for the first time in two years on these popular itineraries that include stops in various Canadian ports throughout the summer and fall.

"We welcome this new guidance from the Canadian government that will allow our guests to visit beautiful ports in Canada again," said Josh Leibowitz, President of Seabourn. "We look forward to returning to these amazing destinations and offering our travelers a world of experiences on land and at sea. With only 458 guests on board the Seabourn Odyssey, these voyages to Canada this summer space is very limited."

In 2022, Seabourn will offer a selection of voyages on both the eastern and western sides in Canada.

Alaska and British Columbia

From May through September 2022, Seabourn Odyssey will sail to Alaska and British Columbia with a series of seven-day voyages between Vancouver and Juneau. Each seven-day cruise can be combined to create a 14-day round-trip Vancouver voyage. In addition, the ship will sail four 10- and 11-day round-trip voyages from Vancouver. Each voyage will include spectacular glacier experiences in places like Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier or Tracy/Endicott Arm, and will also offer the popular Ventures by Seabourn program of expedition-style experiences led by the onboard expedition team.

Canada and New England

Beginning late August 2022, Seabourn Quest will explore the vivid beauty of autumn along the eastern side of Canada with a series of 12-day voyages to Canada and New England. The ship will sail between Montreal and Manhattan in New York City, with one 12-day Canadian Autumn cruise with heavy Canadian content sailing round-trip from Montreal on September 22. With the season cooling, the ship will head south in late October from Montreal on a 14-day Atlantic Coast Harbors cruise to Miami.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Announces Summer 2023 Itineraries
Atlas Ocean Voyages announced new summer and autumn 2023 voyages today. Comprising 34 voyages aboard the line's two newly constructed, luxurious small ships, World Navigator and World Traveller, Atlas' new season begins on March 26, 2023, and will cover four continents on seven- to 21-night itineraries. World Navigator will sail Africa, and the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas, while World Traveller will cruise Central and South America, the Caribbean, Western Africa and Western Mediterranean, Ireland and the British Isles, the Norwegian Fjords, Iceland, Greenland, and the Arctic. Atlas adds 60 new destinations for the season and features overnight stays in 46 individual ports, delivering more immersive experiences in small and off-the-beaten-path destinations unreachable by larger ships.

"With World Navigator and World Traveller's new 2023 voyages, Atlas Ocean Voyages continues to offer travelers more choices of luxe-adventure experiences in some of the world's most fascinating places," said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "Nearly all ports-of-call are non-repeating and provide travelers the opportunity to combine consecutive voyages for extended and in-depth regional immersions and save. On board, guests will enjoy Atlas' signature casually elegant, all-inclusive style for a luxurious, once-in-a-lifetime adventure." vAfter completing her second Antarctica season on March 31, World Navigator charts a course eastward from Ushuaia, Argentina, to Cape Town, South Africa, via the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and the very remote outposts of Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Islands in the South Atlantic. The ship then heads north along Africa's west coast to the Canary Islands and Morocco before crossing the Strait of Gibraltar into the Alboran and Mediterranean Seas. The May 10 voyage includes two full days in Casablanca, Morocco, to provide guests additional time to tour more-inland Marrakesh.

World Navigator also delivers the most compelling Mediterranean destinations throughout Spain, France and Italy. A special eight-night Grand Prix voyage, departing May 21, features two nights in Monaco to catch the race and join in the celebrations. In the heart of the season, travelers can also choose luxury adventures that unveil the vibrant colors and cultures of the Adriatic, Greek Isles, and Turkey. World Navigator then retraces her course westward in early autumn through the Mediterranean and continues onward to Brazil and Argentina to arrive at Ushuaia on November 9.

Alternatively, the newly launched World Traveller heads north from Ushuaia on March 26 to bring guests to explore the heritage and natural splendor along the Chilean and Peruvian coasts. Travelers can also delve into the ecological grandeur of Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua on a 12-night itinerary departing April 28. Offering another chance to cross off a bucket-list experience, World Traveller will transit the Panama Canal and cruise the Southern Caribbean before crossing the Atlantic to the Canary Islands.

From the Canary Islands, World Traveller features two 10-night voyages that combine the archipelago with Morocco. Both departures include overnight calls in Casablanca, but the June 6 voyage includes a call at Safi to access Marrakesh, while the June 16 voyage includes calls at Cadiz, Spain, and Portimao, Portugal. The ship then continues north to the British Isles, Ireland, Norwegian Fjords and Greenland for July.

World Traveller crosses the north 66th parallel in August to offer multiple opportunities to see the Northern Lights, including three Arctic expeditions in Svalbard. Guests can marvel at the archipelago's majestic glaciers, fjords and mountains, and catch sightings of a wide range of wildlife, including birds, whales, polar bears, reindeer, walrus and the elusive arctic fox. Guests can also choose the subsequent Iceland circumnavigation voyage to witness the contrast of land of fire and ice. The ship then charts her course southbound via the British Isles, Ireland, France and Spain to conclude her season on October 16 at Lisbon.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 17.12 + 7.67%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 68.12 + 5.24%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 17.06 + 6.69%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which famous liner is credited with starting the Art Deco movement at sea and what year did she enter service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What Holland America ship was nicknamed "Funneldam"?

Answer - POTSDAM of 1900 courtesy of Richard Macregory


Cruise News - March 7, 2022

Inger Klein Thorhauge Named First Captain Of New Cunard Ship Queen Anne
Following the eagerly anticipated name reveal of Cunard's newest ship, Queen Anne on February 8th, the luxury brand now introduces her first Captain, Inger Klein Thorhauge. Thorhauge will lead the team responsible for on board operations and take charge for the new Queen's maiden season.

Thorhauge, Cunard's first female Captain, celebrates 25 years of service this year with the company and will sail Queen Anne from Italy, where she is currently being built, to Southampton ahead of her inaugural sailing in early 2024.

Thorhauge, who became Captain of Queen Victoria in 2010, started her career in 1997 as Second Officer on board Cunard's Vistafjord. Originally from the Faroe Islands, her career with the company has seen her travel the world many times over as captain of Queen Victoria and more recently Queen Elizabeth.

"I am very proud to be Cunard's first female captain, but to be named as the first captain of Queen Anne is the greatest honor. It means the absolute world to me to be a part of the next chapter of Cunard," Thorhauge comments. "I can't wait to see the reaction Queen Anne will receive from our guests when they first step on board, then to set sail and showcase our beautiful new ship to the world, visiting wonderful, and exciting ports! I can only begin to imagine the reception she will receive. When I discuss Queen Anne with Cunard crew it is so clear how excited and proud they are too, to welcome a new ship to the fleet. The crew are fundamental in delivering that quintessential Cunard experience, and I know they will continue to deliver the exceptionally high standards of our White Star Service on Queen Anne that our guests expect from us."

Sharing captain duties will be David Hudson who started his career with Cunard in 2006.

Itineraries for Queen Anne will be revealed in May 2022. Further news about Queen Anne's senior leadership team will be revealed over the coming months.

NCL Serves Up Elevated Epicurean Experiences with New Prima Class
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) today revealed additional details regarding its elevated culinary and beverage offerings for its highly-anticipated Prima Class vessels Norwegian Prima and Norwegian Viva. Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release here:

The first two of six vessels within this cutting-edge class will push the boundaries of traditional cruise cuisine with the debut of nine new dining and beverage venues including Metropolitan Bar, the Brand's first sustainably-focused bar. The Cruise Line also announced its first three-level atrium, the Penrose Atrium, in addition to major F&B updates including the launch of its revamped main dining menu set to rollout on Norwegian Prima as well as the enhancement to Norwegian's guest-favorite culinary staples Le Bistro, Cagney's Steakhouse and Food Republic as well as NCL's coveted Observation Lounge.

"We've been innovators in the food and beverage space for more than three decades, becoming the first cruise line to offer specialty dining and the first to introduce our 'Freestyle Cruising' concept that allows our guests to vacation their way by giving them the choice to decide when and where they dine," said Harry Sommer, Norwegian Cruise Line president and chief executive officer. "Our latest food and beverage offerings take our Norwegian Prima Food and Beverage experience to another level, one that travels well beyond the guest expectation to provide elevated gastronomical experiences featuring sophisticated design, masterful mixology and cuisine that delivers full-throttle flavor."

Elevated Eateries
Meant to take guests on a global culinary journey, the seven new dining venues onboard Norwegian Prima and Norwegian Viva will take first-time and returning travelers on an epicurean adventure featuring tantalizing fare matched with thoughtfully curated design. Making its debut on Norwegian Prima, the all-new Mediterranean seafood specialty restaurant Palomar, set in a relaxing atmosphere, features high-end Mediterranean cuisine made with simple yet sophisticated ingredients. Hasuki the Brand's new elevated take on the traditional "hibachi-style", will boast an intimate space featuring design elements that invite guests into the artisanship of Japanese influence through minimalist decor, handcrafted pottery and featured Japanese artwork. NCL's new contemporary sushi house Nama will offer guests elevated sushi dishes prepared by master chefs who will create upscale sushi and sashimi masterpieces. The venue is set among a whimsical Japanese backdrop inspired by the restaurant's menu items, including a marble sushi bar reflective of the marbling in the high-quality sashimi and subtle orange ambient lighting representing the color of masago (fish roe).

Main Dining Modernization
Located in the aft of the ship, guests will be able to take in stunning 270-degree views overlooking the stern, and sample mouthwatering menu items in the elevated new main dining room at Hudson's or opt for upscale cuisine set in comfortable yet refined surroundings at The Commodore Room. Both locations will boast a revamped extensive fixed menu that offers guests more variety to sample global dishes from Spanish Paella and Italian mussels prepared in a white wine sauce to fully vegetarian options such as mushroom risotto and cauliflower piccata. In addition to offering travelers consistent high-quality dishes to choose from, the new menu will also boast a build-your-own-pasta section where guests can request a tailormade Italian classic pasta dish by selecting their choice of pasta, sauce, and topping, providing more than 24 meal combinations. The menu will also include a "Specialties" section where cruise goers can select a dish from one of the ship's specialty dining eateries. The revamped menu will debut on Norwegian Prima and will roll out to the rest of NCL's 17-ship fleet through 2023.

The Surfside Café and Surfside Grill located on Deck 17 will feature a diverse menu, with self-serve casual dining, and items prepared "a la minute" upon guest request.

Sustainably Focused and Handcrafted Libations
The Metropolitan Bar will premiere under the Brand's Sail and Sustain program featuring responsibly crafted zero-waste cocktails prepared with surplus ingredients as well as offer a fully sustainable spirits menu and biodynamic wines. Working with "The Drinks Business" Green Awards 2020 recipient Gerard Bertrand, NCL's Metropolitan Bar will showcase more than 20 biodynamic wines produced using organic farming methods such as employing compost as fertilizer and avoiding most pesticides. Norwegian once again partnered with James Beard Award-nominee and Bar-Lab founder, Gabe Orta to pair elevated libation with sustainably focused practices. The Metropolitan Bar's signature sustainably made cocktail the "Primadonna", takes a play on an Old Fashion and is crafted using surplus banana peels with Flor De Cana rum that is produced with 100% renewable energy. Norwegian collaborated with Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana to introduce and produce responsibly sourced botanical gins specifically for NCL and made using 100% recyclable glass and wood for the bottle's design. Other new bar and lounge options on Norwegian Prima and Viva include The Belvedere Bar, a contemporary cocktail lounge featuring crafted cocktails with a modern, fresh take on classic drinks.

The Prima Class Penrose Atrium
Designed by Miami-based Studio Dado to evoke the sense of wonder felt by the ocean's earliest explorers, NCL's first three-story, glass-walled Penrose Atrium spanning Decks six, seven and eight will be one of the focal points on Norwegian Prima and Viva. The grand space will vaunt futuristic architecture including a large-scale chandelier custom built by the renowned Czech lighting design firm Lasvit. The installation was inspired by constellations and features moving light fixtures weighing more than 7,300 pounds (3,311 kgs). Lining the Penrose Atrium will be a three-deck-high light feature that will convey the feeling of the sun rising on the horizon and surround a three-level wall art piece that will resemble a topographic map.

Retail spaces and high-end luxury shops will also be located throughout the Penrose Atrium's three levels, including the Brand's newest Starbucks Coffee. Penrose will also be home to the decanter-inspired Whiskey Bar offering guests a curated selection of drinks and the Prima Casino and The Penrose Bar featuring video poker machines.

Returning Favorites
In addition to unveiling new dining, lounge and public spaces, Norwegian Prima and Viva will also feature enhanced specialty guest-favorite eateries. NCL's signature steakhouse, Cagney's Steakhouse, will boast a refreshed design featuring new décor celebrating the 20th-century modernist architecture of Chicago. Capturing the French flair of the Palace of Mirrors in Versailles, the embellished Le Bistro French specialty restaurant will showcase sophisticated décor boasting three floor-to-ceiling chandeliers, coffered ceilings and plaster moldings. Food Republic, the Asian-fusion specialty venue also returns on the first two Prima Class vessels with elevated décor, a larger restaurant space and better views of the outdoors. The guest popular Observation Lounge, a multi-use refuge with different areas designated for lounging, and socializing, will be back on Norwegian Prima and Viva on Deck 17 with a more cozy, homey ambiance featuring different alcoves, separated by elegant screens and partitions. Designed to let the outside in with expansive views, the enhanced Observation Lounge will also offer telescopes so guests can better see ports of call upon arrival. The Humidor Cigar Lounge will continue to serve as NCL's premiere cigar shop and cigar lounge.

Previously revealed food and beverage venues on Norwegian Prima and Viva included NCL's first-ever food hall Indulge Food Hall featuring 11 different eateries, Onda by Scarpetta, Los Lobos, The Local Bar & Grill, Vibe Beach Club, Waves Pool Bar, and the Prima Speedway Bar. Both ships will feature a total variety of 35 dining and lounge options for guests.

Princess Cruises Celebrates the Madrina of Discovery Princess
Princess Cruises recently celebrated and honored the Discovery Princess Madrina – Hotel General Manager Terri Cybuliak – currently serving onboard Sky Princess, leading a team of 1,200 crew members within the hotel department. Her main role is to ensure exceptional guest experience from entertainment to food and beverage, housekeeping and guest services.

Terri first joined Princess in 1998 as a Junior Assistant Purser on the original Crown Princess. As Hotel General Manager, Terri helped launch Majestic Princess in China and was heavily engaged in the planning of that ship. With Sky Princess, Terri became the first female Hotel General Manager at Princess to launch a newbuild from a shipyard.

Sustainably Focused and Handcrafted Libations "Terri embodies the Princess Cruises spirit and culture of being a team player, forging strong relationships, learning from her colleagues and mentoring her team to perform at their highest level," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "With gratitude, we proudly honor Terri as the Madrina of our new Discovery Princess, recognizing all of her incredible contributions over her 24-year career with Princess."

"I am honored to be the Madrina of Discovery Princess. This is a culmination of not only my achievements but also those who have supported me and influenced the leader I've become," said Terri Cybuliak, Discovery Princess madrina. "Princess has afforded me the opportunity to travel the world and I am forever grateful for these experiences."

Discovery Princess was delivered on January 28, 2022, at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. The 3,660-guest Discovery Princess is the sixth and final Royal-Class newbuild and shares all of the spectacular style and luxury of her sister ships – Enchanted Princess?, Sky Princess, Majestic Princess?, Regal Princess? and Royal Princess?. With an array of innovative new experiences, guests will enjoy 270-degree sweeping views from the largest balconies at sea in the Sky Suites, unwind in ultimate comfort at The Sanctuary and indulge the senses with world-class dining options. Plus, Princess live entertainment presents mesmerizing Broadway-style production shows that can only be seen in the state-of-the-art Princess Theater, including the newest show, Spotlight Bar. Discovery Princess uses the latest technologies to reduce fuel consumption, treat wastewater, and support our environmental compliance efforts.

In addition, Discovery Princess is the newest ship to join the fleet offering Princess MedallionClass Vacations which begins with the Medallion™ wearable, a quarter-sized, device that enables everything from expedited contactless boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever guests need, delivered directly to them, wherever they are on the ship. In addition, guests can share their favorite cruise moments using MedallionNet, the best Wi-Fi at sea, as well as stay connected with friends and family back home, work remotely anywhere on the ship, quickly post content and stream favorite movies and shows.

As the leading cruise line on the west coast, Discovery Princess is making make her way to the Port of Los Angeles to sail on a series of Mexican Riviera and California Coast voyages from March 27 – April 24, 2022. She will then head up the Pacific coast to begin a season of seven-day Alaska cruises from Seattle, making her the newest ship sailing in the Alaska region.

Azamara Names Godmother of Azamara Onward
Azamar announces Beth Santos, Founder and CEO of global community and lifestyle brand Wanderful, as Godmother of its newest ship, Azamara Onward. Recognized by Business Insider as a changemaker transforming the hospitality industry, Santos is a seasoned traveler who helps an inclusive community of over 45,000 women travel the world – aligning with Azamara's mission to bring guests to hidden gem destinations, inviting them to dive deeper with country intensive itineraries, immersive land programs, and overnight stays.

"As a leader in the travel industry with a commitment to inclusion and passion for discovering destinations around the world, Beth is an ideal Godmother for our newest ship," said Carol Cabezas, President of Azamara. "We are inspired by Beth's ambition to shape the future of travel, and our decision to name her as our Godmother reaffirms Azamara's commitment to innovative and immersive cruising experiences. We look forward to the many ways in which Beth can deepen our connection with women and destinations around the globe as we continue to grow as an independent cruise line."

While living abroad in São Tomé and Príncipe, Santos began Wanderful in 2009 as a travel blog, aiming to capture the diverse and shared experiences of women traveling the world. More than a decade later, Wanderful now connects over 45,000 women travelers through local events in more than 50 cities worldwide, group trips, and its online social network. Both the brand and Santos herself continually advocate for equity and inclusion in the travel industry, a mission that Azamara aims to support and uplift through this relationship with Santos. In addition to founding Wanderful, Santos created the Women in Travel Summit in 2014, the premier event for women and gender diverse travel creators, entrepreneurs, and industry which is now hosted annually on two continents. Santos also started the Bessie Awards, which honor women of impact in the travel industry, and Wanderfest, the first major outdoor travel festival by and for women.

Having first cruised at the age of two with her family, Santos appreciates that cruising has a unique ability to bring people together. As a Portuguese American, Santos is especially excited about Azamara's 16-Night Portuguese Pursuit Voyage, which begins in Lisbon and ends in one of Santos' favorite cities in the world, Rio De Janeiro, allowing travelers to explore many destinations that have been influenced by the Portuguese people and culture.

"I am honored to be chosen as the Godmother of Azamara Onward," said Beth Santos. "I believe travel is about challenging your preconceptions, trying new things, and taking the time to immerse yourself in a destination. I love that Azamara is encouraging travelers to do this through thoughtfully curated itineraries, intimate-size ships, and overnight stays, creating moments for us to look deeper into the world around us."

Santos will christen Azamara Onward in Monte Carlo on the evening of May 2, the first day of the ship's maiden voyage. Ship christening is a longstanding naval tradition dating back thousands of years, and in keeping with maritime tradition, Santos will christen the ship with champagne as a part of the official naming ceremony. Guests will be a part of this historic sailing followed by an 11-night itinerary stopping in iconic Italian cities such as Florence, Rome, Amalfi, and concluding with an overnight stay in the romantic floating city of Venice.

The Viking Mississippi Touches Water In Louisiana
Viking (www.viking.com) celebrated today that the new 386-guest Viking Mississippi was "floated out" in Louisiana, marking a major construction milestone and the first time the ship has touched water. Set to debut in June 2022, the Viking Mississippi will sail Viking's highly-anticipated voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi River, between New Orleans and St. Paul.

"It is a proud moment that this new ship has met an American waterway for the first time," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "Our guests have long wanted to sail the Mississippi River with Viking, and we very much look forward to welcoming them on board this summer. We are grateful to our American partner, Edison Chouest Offshore, who has helped bring to life our vision of exploring the Mississippi in the 'Viking way.'"

The traditional float out took place at Edison Chouest Offshore's LaShip shipyard in Houma, Louisiana and is significant because it denotes a ship moving into its final stage of construction. In keeping with maritime tradition, the ship's ceremonial godmother, Dionne Chouest, General Counsel of Edison Chouest Offshore, assisted with the float out.

Viking's arrival to the Mississippi will represent a major commitment to tourism and economic development in many communities along the river, with the new voyages expected to bring more than 7,500 guests to the region in 2022 and 17,600+ during the first full sailing season in 2023. Currently scheduled ports of call on Viking's new Mississippi River itineraries comprise seven U.S. states: Louisiana (Baton Rouge, Darrow, New Orleans and St. Francisville); Mississippi (Natchez and Vicksburg); Tennessee (Memphis); Missouri (Hannibal, St. Louis); Iowa (Burlington, Dubuque and Davenport); Wisconsin (La Crosse); and Minnesota (Red Wing, St. Paul).

The Viking Mississippi

Hosting 386 guests in 193 all outside staterooms, the new state-of-the-art Viking Mississippi is inspired by Viking's award-winning river and ocean ships and will feature elegant Scandinavian design, as well as public spaces that are familiar to guests but reimagined for Mississippi River voyages. Purpose-built for the Mississippi, the five-deck ship's cutting-edge design, expansive windows and comfortable amenities will make it the largest and most modern ship in the region. Highlights of the new ship include:

• All Outside Staterooms: Guests can choose from an unparalleled seven spacious stateroom categories that range from 268 sq. ft to 1,024 sq. ft: Veranda, French Balcony, Deluxe Veranda, Penthouse Veranda, Penthouse Jr. Suite, Terrace Suite and Explorer Suite. All staterooms feature a private veranda or French balcony, king-size bed with luxury linens, large flat-screen interactive TV, mini-bar, large glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and 24-hour room service.

• Viking Suites: The Viking Mississippi will have some of the largest true suites and the first-ever wraparound private verandas on the river. Every suite features two rooms and a full-size veranda off the spacious sitting room. Guests in Penthouse Jr. Suites (400 sq. ft.) and Terrace Suites (425 sq. ft.) receive early stateroom access; expanded double-sink bathroom; mini-bar with alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, water and snacks replenished daily; welcome champagne; and laundry, pressing and shoe shine services. Guests in the expansive Explorer Suites (657 sq. ft. to 1,024 sq. ft) will also enjoy a wraparound veranda and complimentary Silver Spirits Beverage Package.

• Explorers' Lounge & The Bow: Familiar to Viking's ocean guests as one of the most popular onboard public spaces, the Viking Mississippi will also feature an Explorers' Lounge near the bow of the ship. The sun-filled, two-story Explorers' Lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows that open to The Bow, a unique outdoor seating area at the front of the ship where guests can relax and enjoy ever-changing riverside views. River Café: From American classics to Mamsen's Norwegian specialties, this indoor/outdoor dining venue on the top deck will offer alternative restaurant dining in a casual al fresco setting.

• Aquavit Terrace: A public space beloved by many of Viking's ocean and river guests, the Viking Mississippi will also feature a revolutionary Aquavit Terrace on the top deck, providing a casual dining space ideal for an American barbecue experience. Combined with the River Café, the Aquavit Terrace will provide the most al fresco dining on the Mississippi.

• Sun Terrace with Infinity Plunge Pool: Similar to Viking's ocean ships, the Viking Mississippi will have a glass-backed pool experience at the aft, allowing guests to take a dip while surrounded by their destination.

• The Living Room: Elegant Scandinavian design paired with American influences, the Living Room on Deck 1 is designed for socializing, relaxing and entertainment. The Library, curated by acclaimed London bookshop Heywood Hill as on all Viking vessels, is a quiet corner that is perfect for discovering a new book.

• The Restaurant: This main dining venue on Deck 1 will serve daily changing menus featuring delicious regional cuisine and always available classics prepared with fresh, local ingredients.

• Full 360-Degree Promenade Deck: Guests can stroll the entire ship outside on Deck 1, stretching their legs while viewing scenic landscape and regional wildlife.

• Enrichment On Board and On Shore: A focus on cultural enrichment on board the Viking Mississippi means that guests will enjoy Destination Performances that represent the most iconic music of the region, such as New Orleans Jazz, Delta Blues and the Wisconsin Polka. Guest Lecturers will shed light on the region's art, architecture, history, culture, natural world and more. And only The Viking Way of exploration provides guests with itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World experiences and Privileged Access experiences. On Viking's Mississippi River itineraries, guests may choose to take a guided kayaking trip in the Louisiana bayou; visit a working farm in Quad Cities; or immerse themselves in Cajun culture during a Privileged Access excursion to the Rural Life Museum of Louisiana State University.

• Environmentally Considerate: The Viking Mississippi is equipped with a variety of measures to maximize energy efficiency and emissions—including a diesel-electric propulsion system comprised of eight CAT C32 EPA Tier 4 diesel engines, each powering a 940 eKw water cooled generator; each engine/generator unit is individually mounted on a specially designed double raft isolation system that produces a remarkably quiet and smooth ride. Propulsion power is provided by Voith 6 blade propulsion thrusters driven by permanent magnet electric motors; pump jet bow thrusters are powered by permanent magnet motors; and a highly advanced exhaust scrubbing system significantly reduces sound and emissions.

• Viking Inclusive Value: Every Mississippi River fare includes everything guests need, with no surprises or hidden fees. Fares include one complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including beer and wine with lunch and dinner service, lectures, alternative dining at no extra charge, self-service launderettes, 24-hour room service and free Wi-Fi.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.90 - 21.79%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 64.73 - 19.81%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 15.99 - 17.96%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What Holland America ship was nicknamed "Funneldam"?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which cruise ship was the first to offer large picture windows for INSIDE cabins?

Answer - Voyager of the Seas has large picture windows overlooking the atrium of their ship. courtesy of David Wilsom, Los Angeles, CA USA.


Cruise News - February 28, 2022

Silversea Christens Silver Origin
Silversea Cruises, christened Silver Origin on February 25, 2022, during an expedition-inspired ceremony in San Cristobal, the Galápagos Islands. Guests took to the water on Silver Origin's Zodiacs, raising a glass as Silversea officially welcomed the ship to its fleet of 10, before Johanna Carrión, esteemed conservationist and permanent resident of the Galápagos Islands, was unveiled as the ship's Godmother—a selection that underpins Silversea's long-term commitment to sustainability.

A tradition of Royal Caribbean Group, a bagpipe performance initiated the intimate naming ceremony, which marked Jason Liberty's first ship christening as the new President and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group. Liberty co-hosted the event with Roberto Martinoli, President and CEO, Silversea Cruises; Barbara Muckermann, Chief Commercial Officer, Silversea Cruises; and Fernando Delgado, Vice President, Silversea Cruises Ecuador. Escorted by Captain Karin Chacon, Johanna Carrión made her first address to Silver Origin's guests as the ship's Godmother, before Bishop Patricio Bonilla blessed the vessel.

"My heartfelt congratulations to the Silversea team on this milestone," said Jason Liberty, President & CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group. "Silversea's efforts to support long-term conservation here in the Galapagos Islands speak to our commitment to the environment. Our approach is built on the mantra that 'respect for the oceans is not a choice, it's a way of life.'"

"It was a very proud moment to officially welcome Silver Origin to our fleet," says Roberto Martinoli. "Beyond just visiting the most beautiful corners of our planet, Silversea aims to enrich each destination. This is especially true in the Galápagos Islands. Silver Origin is our strongest means to inspire travellers to safeguard the wellbeing of this beautiful archipelago for future generations. I would like to thank Jason Liberty for joining us as we celebrate this momentous occasion and our colleagues at Royal Caribbean Group for their invaluable support. We are honoured to welcome Johanna Carrión to the extended family as the official Godmother of Silver Origin. Johanna's tireless efforts to champion conservation in the Galápagos make her the perfect ambassador for our cruise line."

JOHANNA CARRIÓN: GODMOTHER OF SILVER ORIGIN

Raised in the Galápagos Islands and a permanent resident of the archipelago, Johanna Carrión is the Executive Director and CEO of the Scalesia Foundation—an educational foundation, supported by Silversea Cruises, that champions the long-term conservation of the Galápagos through education. Silversea selected Carrión for the role of Silver Origin's Godmother due to her unwavering commitment to sustainability and her passion for benefiting future generations with hands-on, conservation-focused education in the Galápagos. Her ethos perfectly aligns with that of Silversea—both strive to safeguard this treasured destination and its communities.

"It is a great honour to be selected as the Godmother of Silver Origin," says Carrión. "Silversea's support for the Scalesia Foundation helps to safeguard the wellbeing of the Galápagos Islands for generations to come. I look forward to strengthening the collaboration between Silversea Cruises and the Scalesia Foundation, as we continue to foster long-term conservation through education on sustainability."

THE SILVERSEA FUND FOR THE GALÁPAGOS

With the long-term aim of safeguarding the Galápagos Islands' fragile ecosystem for future generations, Silversea Cruises launched the Silversea Fund for the Galápagos to support a diverse selection of educational projects each year. The fund strengthens the balance between humans and nature in the Galápagos, as part of a long-term sustainability strategy. In addition to benefiting regional conservation efforts and enhancing their connection with this unique destination, the fund's donors enjoy savings on Silversea's voyages, as the cruise line matches guests' contributions in the form of a Future Cruise Credit.

The Scalesia Foundation also receives support from Silversea Cruises. A recent donation from the cruise line will cover 50% of the scholarships for 30 students at the Tomas de Berlanga School, which, operated by the Scalesia Foundation, offers education to inhabitants of the Galápagos Islands with a focus on sustainability principles, teaching students to appreciate and care for the environment in which they live.

SILVER ORIGIN: BUILT WITH THE ENVIRONMENT IN MIND

Silversea's first destination-specific ship, the 100-guest Silver Origin was built with the environment in mind to unlock immersive experiences for guests in the Galápagos Archipelago, inspiring travellers to form meaningful connections with the destination. Designed with a focus on the pillars of sustainability, destination on board, expedition experience, authentic local culture, and comfort and service, the all-suite, all-balcony Silver Origin welcomes travellers year-round in the unique archipelago. The ship provides guests with the ultimate destination experience, inspired by Silversea's accrued expertise and founded on a deep respect for the fragility of the natural environment, while maintaining the cruise line's trademark quality of service. Silver Origin incorporates state-of-the-art technology, including a dynamic positioning system that protects the delicate seabed and an advanced propulsion system. All suites feature a freshwater purification system that significantly reduce plastic bottle usage. Silversea also offers reef-safe sun block to guests.

Oceania Cruises Floats Out New Ship Vista at Fincantieri Shipyard in Genoa, Italy
Oceania Cruises celebrated the float out of its new 67,000-ton, 1,200-guest Vista on February 25th at the Fincantieri shipyard in Sestri Ponente, Italy, bordering the famed seaport of Genoa. Shortly after the ceremony, held in full compliance with current health regulations, the massive building dock began filling with water and Vista became one with the sea for the very first time.

Presiding over the ceremony were Giuseppe Torrente, Shipyard Director for Fincantieri; and His Excellency Monsignor Tasca, Archbishop of Genoa. After the blessing of the ship, the shipyard's Madrina, Miss Anna Trucco, released a bottle of prosecco against the hull to invite good fortune for the ship and all those that will sail on her.

"Vista is Oceania Cruises' most anticipated ship in the history of our company, and I am thrilled to be here with our partners from Fincantieri as the ship morphs from blueprints and steel into reality. Vista is truly a ship of dreams, and we cannot wait to welcome her inaugural season guests next year," stated Howard Sherman, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises.

Luigi Matarazzo, General Manager of the Merchant Ships Division of Fincantieri, stated: "Ten years have passed since we delivered Riviera to our friends at Oceania Cruises, from the same Sestri shipyard. The launch of this new ship therefore represents an important milestone not only of her construction, but also in the consolidation of the relationship with the shipping company. I am sure that Vista will give life to a new class of ships that will stand out for its refinement and technological advances."

Vista will sail her maiden voyage from Rome to Barcelona on April 14, 2023, followed by twelve additional European voyages prior to commencing sailings from the United States to the Canadian Maritimes and New England, the Panama Canal, and the Caribbean.

Vista Highlights

• 12 dining options, four of them brand-new

• 1,200 guests served by 800 crew members = two crew members for every three guests

• The most spacious standard staterooms at sea – more than 290 square feet

• All Penthouse Suites and staterooms feature large bathrooms with oversized rainforest showers

• All Owner's, Vista and Oceania Suites feature luxurious soaking tubs

• Palatial Owner's Suites and top-of-ship Library styled exclusively in Ralph Lauren Home

• New Concierge Level Veranda Staterooms for solo travelers

• Eight bars, lounges, and entertainment venues

• Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center and Aquamar Spa Terrace

• Staffed Concierge and Executive Lounges for Concierge Staterooms and Suites, respectively

Atlas Ocean Voyages Adjusts World Navigator's Summer 2022 Baltic Itineraries To Drop St. Petersburg
Atlas Ocean Voyages announced today that, as a result of current regional tensions, the luxe-adventure cruise line is adjusting two late-summer 2022, Baltic itineraries. On both the Hamburg-to-Kiel itinerary, departing August 26, 2022, and Kiel-roundtrip itineraries, departing September 7, World Navigator will drop St. Petersburg, Russia, and now call at Kotka and Mariehamn, Finland. The August 26 voyage includes a bucket-list transit of the Kiel Canal, while the September 7 departure will now also add Saaremaa, Estonia, where World Navigator will dock in the city center, adjacent to the Medieval Castle of Kuressaare.

"Atlas Ocean Voyages' top priority is the safety and comfort of our guests and crew," said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "With unrest in Eastern Europe, we have adjusted our voyages and replaced our Russia calls with equally exciting and charming destinations in Finland and Estonia. Guests will enjoy these unique and rarely visited destinations and immersive shore excursions to take in the rich cultures and breathtaking vistas of the Baltic."

Atlas Ocean Voyages is a luxe-adventure, expedition cruise line designed for discerning, fun-seeking travelers to immerse in unique and awe-inspiring moments in remote and captivating destinations. Launched in August 2021, World Navigator features 98 suites, solo suites with no single supplements, and staterooms and is the line's first newly constructed small expedition ship, which can reach smaller, authentic and exclusive locales where larger ships cannot reach.

World Navigator will cruise the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and Iceland, Greenland and The Arctic in summer 2022; Central and South America in the autumn; and return to Antarctica for her winter 2022-23 season. Atlas' second ship, World Traveller, launches in November 2022, with three additional sister ships, World Seeker, World Adventurer and World Discoverer, to join the fleet through 2024.

Viking Releases First Look at Viking Octantis Interior Design
Viking is celebrating new milestones in the launch of its expedition voyages, as the new purpose-built Viking Octantis continues its first Antarctic season. Recently, Viking guests explored at both ends of the earth, when the Viking Octantis crossed the Antarctic Circle at 66°33' S, marking the southernmost journey in the company's 25-year history; just a few hours later, the Viking Venus crossed the Arctic Circle at 66°33' N under the spectacular northern lights. Today, Viking has released new architectural photos that detail the award-winning interior design of Viking Octantis—as well as a new 360-degree Ship Tour that provides a deck-by-deck virtual onboard experience. Additionally, Viking has also published a new video showcasing testimonials from guests who have recently experienced Viking's Antarctic Explorer expedition and praised it as one of their best-ever travel experiences.

"The Viking Octantis and her sister ship, the Viking Polaris, have been designed for discovery—to enable our guests to explore the world's most pristine destinations in comfort and in the most responsible way possible," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "With our first Antarctic season underway, we are very pleased with the enthusiastic initial response from our guests, as well as from esteemed design experts."

Viking's new expedition ships were designed by the same team behind the award-winning Viking Longships and ocean ships, including Richard Riviere, Founding Principal of internationally acclaimed interior design firm Rottet Studio of Los Angeles. SMC Design of London contributed with their expertise in the maritime sector. Together, the two firms were awarded "Design Studio Team of the Year" in the 2021 Cruise Ship Interior Awards for their work on Viking's expedition ships.

"We hope our guests will feel at home on board these elegant vessels, with spaces that are familiar from our ocean ships—such as the Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's—as well as innovative new spaces like The Aula and The Hangar that are first of their kind in the travel industry," said Karine Hagen, Executive Vice President of Viking. "As always, our Norwegian heritage and thoughtful attention to detail are infused throughout. With sheltered outdoor observation areas from bow to stern, and a state-of-the-art stabilizing system that makes for very smooth sailing, our new expedition ships optimize exploring the remotest parts of the world in comfort, the Viking way."

Viking Expedition Ships

The new Polar Class Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris host 378 guests in 189 staterooms. The vessels are purpose-built for expeditions, at an ideal size for safety and comfort in remote destinations. With more indoor and outdoor viewing areas than other expedition vessels, guests are as close as possible to the most magnificent scenery on earth. The architectural photos released today showcase many of the onboard public spaces, such as:

• The Aula: A stunning panoramic auditorium inspired by the University of Oslo's famed ceremonial hall, the former venue for the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. Used for lectures, daily briefings, documentaries and films, this spectacular venue features a 4k laser-projected screen that retracts to expose floor-to-ceiling windows and 270° views.

• Finse Terrace: An outdoor lounge area just above sea level with recessed, heated seating and lava rock "firepits," the Finse Terrace was designed to allow guests the comforts of the ship al fresco while enjoying the dramatic scenery. Named after the Finse Plateau in Norway, where some of the greatest polar explorers, including Nansen and Amundsen, did their expedition training in preparation for their North and South Pole expeditions.

• The Hangar: A state-of-the-art, industry-first in-ship marina providing ease of embarkation and disembarkation of Special Operations Boats and other equipment while sheltered from the elements.

• The Bow: An important forward-viewing platform. And in the case of inclement weather, The Shelter is a comfortable, partially enclosed space for guests to warm up with a hot drink before going back out into the elements.

• The Science Lab: Developed in partnership with the University of Cambridge and Akvaplan-Niva, The Science Lab, at 380 sq. ft., is designed to support a broad range of research activities and is equipped with wet and dry laboratory facilities. Guests have supervised access to The Science Lab to learn from and participate with scientists in undertaking meaningful research.

• Expedition Central: The hub for the expedition team to consult with guests on their expedition activities and share knowledge about the destinations on a one-on-one basis, with the aid of 3D printed maps, digital screens, and a state-of-the-art spatial data visualization chart table.

• Dining Choices: The Restaurant offers fine dining featuring regional cuisine and always-available classics; the casual World Café offers an open kitchen, bakery, grill and premium seafood and sushi choices, as well as a wide range of international flavors; Mamsen's, named for the Hagen family matriarch, serves Scandinavian-inspired fare; and Manfredi's offers the best of Italian cuisine.

• The Nordic Spa: Following a day of exploration, The Nordic Spa offers guests opportunities to experience the ultimate healthy Nordic traditions, with an indoor heated pool set against expansive windows and a badestamp (wood-sided hot tub) that is open to the outside.

• Explorers' Lounge: Located high on the ship with floor-to-ceiling windows, the Explorers' Lounge provides guests an ideal space to take in the magnificent scenery, share discoveries with fellow travelers or to enjoy a drink.

• The Living Room: On Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, The Living Room is located to maximize views of the surroundings through floor-to-ceiling windows and a library that informs even the best-read explorers. The Library is curated by acclaimed London bookshop Heywood Hill, as on all Viking vessels, as well as Cambridge University's Scott Polar Research Institute. Additional photos showcase:

• Nordic Balcony: A first for polar expedition vessels, all staterooms on board Viking's expedition ships feature a Nordic Balcony, a sunroom that converts into an al fresco viewing platform with an observation shelf at elbow level to stabilize binoculars or a camera. Guests can choose from six stateroom categories that range from 222 sq. ft. to 1,223 sq. ft.—all with a Nordic Balcony, as well as a king-size bed and large bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and anti-fog mirror. Every stateroom is also equipped with a unique floor-to-ceiling drying closet that circulates warm air to dry and store clothing and expedition gear.

• Expedition Ship Suites: Nordic Junior Suites (322 sq. ft.) and Explorer Suites (580 sq. ft.) on Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris are similar to those on Viking's fleet of ocean ships, with wood detailing and amenities that include additional storage and seating, an expanded bathroom with extended shower and double sinks, welcome champagne, a fully-stocked mini-bar replenished daily, complimentary laundry, priority restaurant reservations and more. Explorer Suites feature two separate rooms, a Nordic Balcony and a full outdoor veranda. Additionally, each ship features one Owner's Suite (1,223 sq. ft.) that has three rooms –a living room, a board/dining room and a bedroom—as well as a 792 sq. ft. private deck with a traditional Norwegian badestamp open to the invigorating outdoors.

Carnival Reveals Additional Itineraries into 2024
Carnival Cruise Line continues to implement its ship deployment changes announced earlier in February, with ship and homeport assignments extended into 2023 and 2024, including:

Carnival Elation – Jacksonville
Carnival Elation, previously announced as moving to Jacksonville, Fla., will continue service of 4- and 5-day sailings formerly assigned to Carnival Ecstasy. Itineraries for additional cruise vacations from Jacksonville will soon be open into 2024.

Carnival Freedom – Port Canaveral
Carnival Freedom, previously announced as redeploying to Port Canaveral, Fla. in April 2022 to replace Carnival Elation, will continue to operate 4- and 5-day itineraries from Port Canaveral and itineraries will soon be open through Apr. 29, 2023.

Carnival Spirit – Miami and Seattle
After completing its recently announced summer 2022 season in Alaska, Carnival Spirit will continue to operate 6- and 8-day cruises previously assigned to Carnival Freedom from Miami through Apr. 8, 2023.

Following the completion of its Caribbean itineraries from Miami, Carnival Spirit will sail a Panama Canal Journeys cruise on Apr. 16, 2023, arriving in Seattle, and will then operate a series of Alaska cruises from May 2, 2023 through Sep. 12, 2023, with those itineraries to be open for sale soon.

While Carnival completes the swap of existing reservations to the new ship assignments and provides equivalent accommodations, the itineraries will remain closed for sale, and reservations will not be accessible for up to three weeks. Once the process has been completed, an email confirmation will be sent to guests, or to travel advisors, and the new reservation will be available for viewing on Carnival.com. The new ship assignments and itineraries will also open for sale at that time.

"We are very happy with the positive reception this redeployment plan has already generated from our guests and travel advisor partners," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "In combination with our successful restart, new ship assignments are creating excitement as we build momentum for a successful 2022 and beyond."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 20.33 - 8.30%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 88.72 - 3.55%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 19.49 - 8.07%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which cruise ship was the first to offer large picture windows for INSIDE cabins?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which ship is widely acknowledged to be the first vessel designed solely for cruising? What year did she enter service?

Answer - The Cunard Lines s.s. Caronia was the first ship designed and built for cruising. Because of her 3 shades of green livery she was known as the "Green Goddess". Caronia entered service in 1949. courtesy of Larry P. Macdonald, Belmont, MA USA.


Cruise News - February 21, 2022

World's Largest Cruise Ship Wonder of the Seas Arrives in U.S.
The world’s newest wonder Royal Caribbean International’s Wonder of the Seas, arrived in the U.S. yesterday evening ahead of its official debut on March 4, 2022, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The 18-deck cruise ship was built at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, and has capacity for 6,988 guests and 2,300 crew members.

Vacationers of all ages have in store a combination of new adventures and returning favorites across eight unique neighborhoods. Highlights include the eighth neighborhood, a Royal Caribbean first, named the Suite Neighborhood; new southern restaurant and bar The Mason Jar, serving up southern staples and new twists on classics for brunch, dinner and the late night; and Wonder Playscape, an all-new interactive outdoor play area. Also on deck are signature experiences like The Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea; the FlowRider surf simulator; rock-climbing walls; and the Central Park neighborhood lined with more than 20,000 real plants.

“The Wonder of the Seas will energize cruising in a bolder and bigger way. Adding this ship to our already best-in-class fleet elevates the company in continuing to lead the industry with new features and innovation.” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group.

The ultimate vacation will first set sail on 7-night cruises to the Caribbean and Royal Caribbean’s private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas, from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale before heading to Barcelona, Spain, and Rome to kick off summer vacations in the Mediterranean in May 2022.

In November, Wonder returns to explore the tropical shores of the Caribbean and The Bahamas from its year-round home, Port Canaveral, Florida.

Oceania Announces 2024 Around the World in 180 Days Itinerary
Oceania Cruises has announced its highly anticipated 2024 Around the World in 180 Days itinerary in addition to four distinct Grand Voyages of 72 to 82 days in length. Featuring 96 destinations in 34 countries, the world cruise aboard the luxurious 684-guest Insignia departs Los Angeles for New York on January 14, crossing three oceans and 15 seas from the South Pacific to the coasts of Europe.

"Incredibly, last year our 2023 world cruise sold out in just one day, so for 2024 we are providing guests more extended voyage options to deeply and meaningfully rediscover the world," said Howard Sherman, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises. "While a globe-circling journey is the pinnacle of life-changing travel experiences, we have specially curated a set of Grand Voyages for seasoned and time-rich travelers to navigate storied seas, straits and oceans that boldly connect diverse and exotic corners of the globe."

Around the World in 180 Days

The 2024 Around the World journey weaves together a lineup of destinations into a brilliant kaleidoscope of world wonders, marvelous attractions and exceptional encounters. Commencing an intriguing westward route, Insignia sails across the Pacific to legendary beauties in the Hawaiian Islands, French Polynesia and the Samoan Islands. She continues south toward the dramatic fjords of New Zealand and on to adventures Down Under. Navigating the most thrilling corners of Asia, guests will have the chance to immerse themselves in everything from the spiritual haven of Bali and the Japanese culinary powerhouses of Tokyo and Kyoto to the dramatic landscape of Ha Long Bay and a true feast for the senses, Yangon. More revelatory explorations await on the exotic shores of India and the Arabian Peninsula, followed by experiences in jewel-box destinations across the Mediterranean and the northern reaches of Europe before crossing the Atlantic to crown the journey on the Eastern Seaboard with her final call in New York.

This epic voyage features over 100 UNESCO World Heritage sites across 96 destinations, with 24 overnight stays and a series of curated complimentary special onshore events and optional multi-day overland programs. Starting at $48,499 per person, the world cruise boasts free first-class roundtrip airfare, an array of included amenities with the Exclusive Prestige Package such as free laundry services, a free visa package, free Internet, free pre-paid gratuities, free luggage delivery, plus Oceania Cruises' inclusive OLife Choice amenities.

Four New Grand Voyages

In addition to Insignia's Around the World itinerary, Oceania Cruises' four new Grand Voyages range from 72 to 82 days and feature extended evening port stays plus meaningful excursions ashore that connect guests to the place, culture and people visited. Whether choosing a Grand Voyage that reveals the colorful and varied countries and cultures within the vast expanse of the Eastern world or a journey that links multiple distinct regions together, such as the South Pacific, Australia, Southeast Asia and Africa, guests will experience the beauty of leisurely global travel with more time to indulge in the luxury and comfort of Oceania Cruises.

• Grand Pacific Expedition from Los Angeles to Sydney: This 77-day voyage departs Oct. 4, 2023, on Regatta and visits 12 countries with 10 overnights in iconic ports such as Kyoto, Shanghai, Bali and Perth.

• Odyssey of Discoveries from Abu Dhabi to Tokyo: This 82-day voyage departs Dec. 29, 2023, on Riviera and visits 18 countries with an array of discoveries across the Arabian Peninsula, India and Asia, plus calls at less-trodden corners such as Sri Lanka and the secluded paradise of the Maldives.

• Epic Eastern Explorer from Mumbai to Tokyo: This 72-day journey departing Jan. 8, 2024, on Riviera visits 15 countries with calls in the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Bangkok and Seoul while also exploring Myanmar's monasteries, contrasting rural and city life in Vietnam, experiencing revered culinary traditions in Japan and more.

• Ultimate Exotic Traveler from Papeete to Cape Town: This 79-day voyage departs Feb. 19, 2024, on Nautica with a 15-country itinerary featuring a remarkable array of top attractions such as the gorgeous lagoons of Moorea, the unique geothermal landscapes of Rotorua, the iconic Sydney Opera House, the UNESCO-protected Komodo National Park and the renowned game reserves of South Africa.

These Grand Voyages feature extraordinary value with amenities such as free business-class airfare, free airport transfers, free pre-paid gratuities, free luggage delivery and Oceania Cruises' inclusive OLife Choice amenities like the choice of either free shore excursions, a beverage package or shipboard credit.

Carnival Gives Guests a First Look at Carnival Celebration
In conjunction with the kickoff of the company's 50th birthday festivities, Carnival Cruise Line is giving guests a first look at Carnival Celebration, sister ship to the incredibly popular Mardi Gras, that will debut in Miami this November, revealing details on four of its six zones including Celebration Central.

On a Carnival cruise, guests' vacations start in the atrium, and on Carnival Celebration, that is in Celebration Central. Spanning Decks 6, 7 and 8, Celebration Central is an update to the fabulous starboard side atrium that debuted on Mardi Gras, designed as the heart of the ship's celebratory spirit with a whole new look and the feeling of a festive party woven throughout.

Celebration Central will also feature the awe-inspiring, three-deck-high atrium that guests are quickly getting to know and love, but with a ceiling that appears as a burst of a confetti canon made of approximately 1,400 color-changing lighting fixtures that will transform from day to night. Functional as it is eye-catching, the space will include 3,000-square-foot floor-to-ceiling windows on the side of the ship that will change into 16 individually controlled, six- by 14-foot LED screens to work hand in hand with the ever-changing entertainment options, including live music, special effects, aerial acrobatic performances, and high-energy shows.

Introducing nods to Carnival's Fun Ship history, guests will spot pieces from former Carnival ships that will be repurposed to blend with the ship's modern decor throughout Celebration Central and beyond. For example, in the Aquaria Bar, ocean-themed glass murals from Carnival Victory by Italian artist Luciano Vistosi will be incorporated into a striking two-deck-high decorative wall behind the bar to create an aquarium-like effect, inspiring the name. And the Tropicale Bar is named after Carnival's first ship to sport the line's iconic funnel.

"From a design perspective, we are incorporating elements from our former ships, paying homage to the history of Carnival, and also showcasing Carnival Celebration as a modern, innovative and forward-looking vessel," said Ben Clement, senior vice president of new builds, refurbishment and product innovation. "While similar to Mardi Gras with a plethora of options for dining, entertainment and relaxation, Celebration will have her own personality, one that celebrates all things Carnival, intertwining where we have been with where we are going."

Celebration Central will also include food and beverage options, such as JavaBlue Café, Bonsai Sushi and Bonsai Teppanyaki, and feel-good entertainment such as Piano Bar 88 and The Punchliner Comedy Club.

The Ultimate Playground
After such an incredible response from guests on Mardi Gras, the centerpiece of Carnival Celebration's Ultimate Playground (Decks 18-20 Aft) will be BOLT, The Ultimate Sea Coaster, soon to be the second roller coaster at sea, recognized by Popular Science with a "Best of What's New" award. Guests can expect the thrills they've raved about as all-electric, motorcycle-inspired vehicles race along an 800-foot-long track 187 feet above the sea achieving speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.

Reaching a very exciting milestone, Mauer Rides, the manufacturer of the groundbreaking top-deck attraction, has fully assembled BOLT on land and is currently conducting initial shoreside unmanned test runs in Munich, Germany. BOLT will soon be reassembled and installed aboard Carnival Celebration. To see a video, click here https://youtu.be/rhqp444r7E8.

Designed for fun for all-ages, the zone will also be home to the WaterWorks aqua park and SportSquare featuring a mini-golf course, full-court basketball and an exhilarating ropes course.

Summer Landing and Lido
Carnival Celebration's Summer Landing zone (Deck 8 Aft) will continue to serve as the greatest chill spot at sea with Guy's Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse, offering smoked-on-board favorites created by Guy Fieri and an assortment of Carnival's ParchedPig craft beers brewed on site, in addition to pools and whirlpools, The Watering Hole poolside bar, and the Heroes Tribute Lounge honoring military personnel.

And the poolside zone, Lido (Decks 16-17 Aft), will feature all of the delicious and fun experiences from Mardi Gras including the two-level RedFrog Tiki Bar designed to transport guests to a South Pacific paradise, Shaquille O'Neal's Big Chicken restaurant, guest-favorite Guy's Burger Joint, Seafood Shack, and BlueIguana Cantina, with offerings perfect for any tastebud, any time.

Carnival Celebration will be the second Carnival ship to be powered by a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system, part of Carnival Corporation's green cruising platform. The ship will debut in November from the redesigned state-of-the-art Terminal F at PortMiami, the line's third terminal at the port and its largest in South Florida.

Additional details and zones on Carnival Celebration will be revealed in the coming months leading up to the ship's inaugural sailing from Miami on Nov. 21.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Performs First Legal Wedding in Antarctica
February is the month of love, and for the first time, betrothed couples were legally joined in matrimony on the Seventh Continent. On February 18, 2022, Atlas Ocean Voyages performed the first official wedding on Antarctica. Bride Courtnie Dodson and Groom Brody Vermillion exchanged vows on Danko Island during a 15-minute ceremony, officiated by British Antarctic Territory-registered Marriage Officer Bryan Clark and witnessed by eight additional guests. Throughout World Navigator's current nine-night Antarctica expedition, which departed February 14, Atlas performed four extraordinary weddings and three vow renewals in four days. Known as Happy Ever Atlas, the destination wedding package was complimentary for guests who registered in advance.

"We are happy to perform the very first official weddings in Antarctica, not just ceremonial as often happens," said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "Atlas Ocean Voyages prides ourselves in delivering luxury adventures in remote and captivating destinations and Happy Ever Atlas is perhaps the most adventurous destination-wedding experience to date. We are glad to make this most unique wedding experiences for our guests."

Atlas Performs First Legal Wedding in Antarctica

Each wedded couple received an included, official U.K. wedding license, valued at more than $650, which is also recognized by the United States government. World Navigator hosted a shipwide wedding reception, as well as held separate bachelorette and bachelor group-parties, to create a unique, complete and unforgettable nuptial exchange. The package also included a one-tier wedding cake, digital photo package, welcome itinerary & giftbag, custom nuptial announcements and Thank You cards.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is a luxe-adventure, expedition cruise line designed for discerning, fun-seeking travelers to immerse in unique and awe-inspiring moments in remote and captivating destinations. Launched in August 2021, World Navigator features 98 suites, solo suites with no single supplements, and staterooms and is the line's first newly constructed small expedition ship, which can reach smaller, authentic and exclusive locales where larger ships cannot reach.

World Navigator will cruise the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and Iceland, Greenland and The Arctic in summer 2022; Central and South America in the autumn; and return to Antarctica for her winter 2022-23 season. Atlas' second ship, World Traveller, launches in November 2022, with three additional sister ships, World Seeker, World Adventurer and World Discoverer, to join the fleet through 2024.

Carnival, Seabourn, Holland America Will Participate in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Updated Program for Cruise Ships
Carnival, Seabourn and Holland America cruise lines confirmed that they will participate in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated program for cruise ships operating in U.S. waters, and is advising guests of the following changes:

• Effective with cruises departing Mar. 1, masks on board will be recommended but not required. There may, however, be certain venues and events where masks will be required.

• The cruise lines said they will continue to meet the standard of vaccinated cruises, but children under five years old will not be included in any vaccinated guest calculation, and thus will not be required to receive an exemption to sail.

• Effective with cruises departing Mar. 1, some additional flexibility in pre-cruise testing requirements will become available. Please visit the cruise lines' web sites for more information.

"We have had a very successful restart of guest operations thanks to the support of our guests, the commitment of our shipboard team, and the effective protocols we have put in place," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "The public health situation has continued to improve, providing confidence about these changes. Our protocols will evolve as we continue to remain dedicated to protecting the public health of our guests, crew and the communities we visit."

Duffy said that Carnival's highest responsibility and top priority is always compliance, environmental protection, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, the people in the communities we touch and serve, and our shipboard and shoreside personnel. "We appreciate the ongoing collaboration among multiple government agencies, as well as the support of Alaska officials and other delegations," she added.

Azamara Launches New Brand Campaign
Azamara unveiled its latest creative campaign this week, Change the Way You Sea, aimed to visually capture the unique sights and experiences that await travelers on an Azamara voyage. Through this new multi-platform campaign, Azamara highlights its one-of-a-kind cruising experience and visually captures the beauty to be found off the beaten path, prioritizing the opportunity to fully appreciate a destination by day and night.

Azamara's fleet of four intimate-style ships allows travelers to access marquee ports across the world, and to dock in smaller ports to explore these hidden gem destinations. Change the Way You Sea encourages guests to take the ports less traveled, and to dive deeper into each destination. By offering its country intensive itineraries, immersive land programs and more overnights in each destination, Azamara gives travelers the opportunity to connect with the local culture and change their perspective on how they view the world.

"We understand our guests are looking for new experiences at a more relaxed pace, and to make memorable connections with the destination and its locals," says Carol Cabezas, President of Azamara. "At Azamara, our thoughtfully crafted itineraries offer those explorers the time to immerse themselves into the culture and discover each destination by day and night for an enriching and fulfilling cruise experience. Our latest campaign really brings Azamara's objective to life."

Azamara's new positioning is the latest chapter in the line's journey as an independent cruise company. Along with a brand-new office in Miami's Coconut Grove neighborhood, the new multi-platform campaign – which will reach audiences via print, digital, social media, and streaming TV – offers a fresh start for the line and its newest ship launching this spring, Azamara Onward, while remaining true to Azamara's core foundation of Destination Immersion experiences.

Looking ahead, Azamara will continue to expand and enhance its offerings through new voyages and experiences, allowing guests to fully immerse themselves within a destination and 'sea' it from a new perspective. Azamara will visit over 350 unique ports around the world, with more than 430 overnight stays and 850 late nights. Upcoming highlights include:

Azamara's First Ever World Voyage

Set to sail in 2024, the five-month world voyage will bring guests to over 40 countries on six continents, and will highlight immersive experiences of the World's Wonders, including the Great Wall of China, Great Pyramids of Giza, Chichén Itzá, Taj Mahal and more. New Pre- and Post- Land Explorations

The line will introduce new AzAmazing Journeys for guests, including an adventure aboard Switzerland's Glacial Express Train followed by a day excursion to Mount Rigi, sunset cruise in Lucerne and more.

More Country-Intensive Itineraries

Designed to provide travelers more time to discover a country's hidden gems, Azamara's upcoming voyages will explore the most sought-after destinations in Europe and beyond, including the debut of a highly anticipated Black Sea Intensive itinerary.

New Maiden Ports

Azamara's deployments will bring guests closer to their destinations with smaller, unique ports, only accessible to smaller ships, including Alta, Norway, Brest, France, Çesme, Turkey, and Fredericia, Denmark among others.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 22.17 + 3.79%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 83.69 + 1.14%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 21.20 + 0.52%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which ship is widely acknowledged to be the first vessel designed solely for cruising? What year did she enter service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which two 1930's ocean liners had seaplanes mounted between their funnels for the purpose of delivering the mail via air thirty-six hours before the ships docked?

Answer - The two ships with the catapult for air mail planes were the BREMEN and EUROPA of North German Lloyd. courtesy of Rudolf Hanson, Lewes, DE


Cruise News - February 14, 2022

Carnival Announces Fleet Update Through October
Carnival Cruise Line announced the next phase of its 2022 fleet deployment update, including new ship assignments for Port Canaveral and Jacksonville, Fla. and additional itineraries and ship assignments for an expanded offering of summer 2022 sailings from Seattle to Alaska.

Carnival operates 10 year-round homeports in the U.S., the most of any cruise line, and by March, will have resumed service in all 10 of its year-round U.S. homeports. With the opening of the Alaska season in May, Carnival will have returned its entire fleet to service, less than 10 months after resuming operations, completing an impressive and successful restart of its guest operations and setting the pace for the rest of the U.S. cruise industry.

Beginning in early March, four Carnival ships will orchestrate a series of moves worthy of a synchronized sailing competition as the remaining U.S. homeports return to service, resulting in new homeports for some ships and new seasonal service for others.

Carnival Elation will move from Port Canaveral to Jacksonville, effective Apr. 23, 2022 to Oct. 13, 2022.

Carnival Freedom will be moving from Miami to Port Canaveral to pick up the itineraries formerly assigned to Carnival Elation, effective Apr. 21 through Oct. 15, 2022. Carnival Spirit will take over several sailings previously assigned to Carnival Freedom, including the Apr. 17 Carnival Journeys cruise from Miami through the Panama Canal to Seattle.

Once in Seattle, Carnival Spirit will operate cruises to Alaska from May through Sept. 2022. These itineraries will open for sale later today. Carnival Splendor will reposition to Seattle and operate Alaska sailings currently assigned to Carnival Freedom.

Upon completion of the summer season in Alaska, Carnival Splendor will return to Australia with a new Journeys cruise to Sydney, Australia, that will be available soon. Carnival Spirit will sail the Carnival Journeys cruise back through the Panama Canal to Miami that was previously assigned to Carnival Freedom.

Carnival is notifying booked guests and travel advisors about these changes, which will result in the transfer of reservations to the new ship assignments. Guests impacted by these changes will not have access to their booking for up to two weeks as Carnival completes the process to move their bookings to the new ships and provide equivalent accommodations.

"We appreciate everyone's patience as we work through this process. We are excited to have every Carnival Cruise Line ship in the fleet sailing again by May and to be back in all 10 of our year-round U.S. homeports. We are also continuing to make plans for a return to guest operations in Australia upon completion of our Alaska season," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

With Launch of New Expiditions, Viking Now Explores All Seven Continents
Viking has marked the launch of its highly-anticipated expeditions as the new purpose-built Viking Octantis started its first Antarctic season. The launch of Viking Expeditions is a significant milestone as the company begins its 25th anniversary year; by the end of the year, Viking will have welcomed a second identical expedition ship, as well as two new identical ocean ships, new Viking Longships in Europe and new purpose-built vessels for the Nile, Mekong and Mississippi rivers.

"When we started Viking 25 years ago, we wanted to do things differently—and since then, our mission has resonated with curious travelers. This week alone our guests are enjoying voyages north of the Arctic Circle and south to the Antarctic Peninsula—as well as to many great destinations in between," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "Antarctica has always inspired the most intrepid explorers; for many, visiting the 'White Continent' is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. With the arrival of the Viking Octantis, we are offering our guests the opportunity to explore this unique part of the world in comfort and in the most responsible way possible."

With expeditions now underway, the first guests on Viking's Antarctic Explorer itinerary have provided outstanding ratings and enthusiastic feedback, praising it as one of their best-ever travel experiences. Examples include:

• "The ship is amazing, inside and out. It has just been exceptional." –Karen C.

• "Having been on Viking, I knew this would be first-class, first-rate…it has just been phenomenal; I have learned a lot." –Patrick F.

• "It was nice to feel so confident and secure. The things we have been able to see up close and to step onto the real 'White Continent'…being in the snow, being where you can hear the penguins and the birds…it is very special." –Edna K.

• "Viking has done everything possible to make it safe for me to come on this remarkable, remarkable journey. What I have had with this ship has been an exceptional experience." –Ramona F.

• "The Viking experience and the Viking people make this one of the best experiences of my life." –Ken K.

The Viking Octantis will spend the Austral summer in Antarctica, before traveling north to be named in April 2022 in New York City by her ceremonial godmother, Liv Arnesen, the world-renowned Norwegian explorer and educator. Arnesen became the first woman in the world to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole in 1994. She sailed on board the Viking Octantis for the ship's first two expeditions to Antarctica and recorded a special video message to welcome guests, which can be viewed here.

Following the ship's naming in New York City, the Viking Octantis will make her way to the Great Lakes region, for a series of voyages throughout the spring and summer. A second, identical sister ship, the Viking Polaris, will join the fleet later in 2022.

Viking Expedition Ships

The new Polar Class Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris host 378 guests in 189 staterooms. Designed for discovery by the same team that designed the award-winning Viking Longships and ocean ships, the new vessels are purpose-built for expeditions, at an ideal size for safety and comfort in remote destinations. With more indoor and outdoor viewing areas than other expedition vessels, guests are as close as possible to the most magnificent scenery on earth. In addition to familiar ocean spaces such as the Explorers' Lounge, The Living Room, Mamsen's, Manfredi's, the World Café, The Restaurant and The Nordic Spa, Viking's new expedition ships feature new unique spaces, including:

• The Aula: A stunning panoramic auditorium inspired by the University of Oslo's famed ceremonial hall, the former venue for the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. Used for lectures, daily briefings, documentaries and films, this spectacular venue features a 4k laser-projected screen that retracts to expose floor-to-ceiling windows and 270° views.

• Finse Terrace: An outdoor lounge area just above sea level with recessed, heated couches and lava rock "firepits," the Finse Terrace was designed to allow guests the comforts of the ship al fresco while enjoying the dramatic scenery. Named after the Finse Plateau in Norway, where some of the greatest polar explorers, including Nansen and Amundsen, did their expedition training in preparation for their North and South Pole expeditions.

• The Hangar: A state-of-the-art, industry-first in-ship marina providing ease of embarkation and disembarkation of Special Operations Boats and other equipment while sheltered from the elements.

• The Science Lab: Developed in partnership with the University of Cambridge and Akvaplan-Niva, The Science Lab, at 380 sq. ft., is designed to support a broad range of research activities and is equipped with wet and dry laboratory facilities. Guests have supervised access to The Science Lab to learn from and participate with scientists undertaking meaningful research.

• The Bow: An important forward-viewing platform. And in the case of inclement weather, The Shelter is a comfortable, partially enclosed space for guests to warm up with a hot drink before going back out into the elements.

• Expedition Central: The hub for the expedition team to consult with guests on their expedition activities and share knowledge about the destinations on a one-on-one basis, with the aid of 3D printed maps, digital screens, and a state-of-the-art spatial data visualization chart table.

• The Pools: A sanctuary of three different temperature pools (caldarium, tepidarium, frigidarium), including an "inside-outside" pass-through pool experience from which guests can admire the surrounding scenery of vast wilderness—from polar ice fields to coniferous forests.

Additional highlights include: N

• ordic Balcony: A first for polar expedition vessels, all staterooms on board Viking's expedition ships feature a Nordic Balcony, a sunroom that converts into an al fresco viewing platform with an observation shelf at elbow level to stabilize binoculars or a camera. Guests can choose from six stateroom categories that range from 222 sq. ft. to 1,223 sq. ft.—all with a Nordic Balcony, as well as a king-size bed and large bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and anti-fog mirror. Every stateroom is also equipped with a unique floor-to-ceiling drying closet that circulates warm air to dry and store clothing and expedition gear.

• Expedition Ship Suites: Nordic Junior Suites (322 sq. ft.) and Explorer Suites (580 sq. ft.) on Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris are similar to those on Viking's fleet of ocean ships, with wood detailing and amenities that include additional storage and seating, an expanded bathroom with extended shower and double sinks, welcome champagne, a fully-stocked mini-bar replenished daily, complimentary laundry, priority restaurant reservations and more. Explorer Suites feature two separate rooms, a Nordic Balcony and a full outdoor veranda. Additionally, each ship features one Owner's Suite (1,223 sq. ft.) that has three rooms –a living room, a board/dining room and a bedroom—as well as a 792 sq. ft. private deck with a traditional Norwegian badestamp (wood-sided hot tub) open to the invigorating outdoors.

• Expedition Equipment: Viking offers a variety of ways for guests to experience their destination, according to their interests and activity level, at no extra charge. With a robust program of included experiences, expedition equipment available for guests includes a fleet of military pro zodiacs designed for professional use; a fleet of two-seater polar-tested kayaks; two 12-seater convertible Special Operations Boats; and two six-guest submarines with revolving seats and 270-degree spherical windows.

• Enrichment On Board and On Shore: Viking has created the world's leading enrichment environment in an expedition setting. Exclusive partnerships with the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)—as well as other prestigious scientific institutions match leading researchers and educators with each expedition. Thirty-six experts accompany each journey as part of the Viking Expedition Team, including an Expedition Leader and support staff, photographer, field research scientists, general naturalists, mountain guides, kayak guides, submarine pilots and specialists (ornithology, geology, higher predator biology and history). On board, guests will enjoy daily briefings and world-class lectures about their destination. On shore, they can assist in fieldwork or interact through experiential activities during landings—such as monitoring birds to help identify migratory patterns; accompanying scientists to collect samples; or taking their cameras ashore alongside a professional photographer to learn how best to capture scenic landscapes.

• Environmentally Considerate: Viking's expedition ships have set a new standard for responsible travel with an energy-efficient design that exceeds the Energy Efficiency Design Index* (EEDI) requirements by nearly 36%. In addition to an integrated bow that creates a longer waterline for the ships, engines with heat recovery systems and Azipod Electric Propulsion, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris have received one of the industry's first SILENT-E notations—the highest-level certification for quiet ship propulsion, minimizing underwater noise pollution.

Holland America Line Explores Alaska in 2023 with a Six-Ship Complement
Holland America Line is charting a course to Alaska in 2023 with expertly crafted journeys on six ships that offer preferred access, exclusive overland transportation, culturally focused onboard experiences and more visits to Glacier Bay than any other major cruise line.

Celebrating 75 years of Alaska exploration in 2022, Holland America Line weaves that expertise into every nuance of the journey, enabling travelers to discover the most authentic elements of the 49th state, both on board and ashore.

Holland America Line Explores Alaska in 2023 with a Six-Ship Complement and Cruisetours to Denali and the Yukon

"Alaska continues to be among our most popular destinations, and we are excited to have six ships in Alaska in 2023, along with the return of the 14-day cruise," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "We've offered Alaska exploration longer than any cruise line, we continue to have more Glacier Bay itineraries and we're the only way to see the Yukon combined with a cruise. Holland America Line knows Alaska and can deliver authentic experiences guests won't find anywhere else."

From April through September 2023, guests can embark on Holland America Line's cruises to Alaska aboard Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Volendam and Westerdam. In addition to seven-day itineraries, Holland America Line is bringing back the popular 14-day "Great Alaska Explorer" cruise for two departures.

For explorers who want to travel farther into the Great Land, 16 different Cruisetours (formerly Land+Sea Journeys) combine a three-, four- or seven-day Alaska cruise with an inland exploration of Denali National Park. Holland America Line is the only cruise line that extends land tours up to the unspoiled reaches of Canada's Yukon Territory.

Cruises sail roundtrip from Seattle, Washington; roundtrip from Vancouver, B.C.; or one-way between Whittier (Anchorage), Alaska, and Vancouver. The ships deliver a premium experience designed for immersive cruising. Wraparound decks and an abundance of verandah staterooms bring guests closer to Alaska's natural wonders, while enriching Explorations Central (EXC) programming presents the opportunity to learn about the culture and history from authentic experts.

Highlights for 2023 Alaska Cruises:

• Every Alaska cruise includes a visit to one or more of Alaska's iconic glacier destinations: Glacier Bay National Park, College Fjord, Hubbard Glacier and Twin Sawyer Glaciers of Tracy Arm.

• The 14-day "Great Alaskan Explorer" itinerary returns in 2023 to offer an in-depth adventure. Roundtrip from Vancouver aboard Nieuw Amsterdam (May 7) and Noordam (Sept. 17), the cruise calls at the Alaskan ports of Kodiak, Anchorage, Valdez, Sitka, Skagway and Ketchikan, and features Glacier Bay.

• Seven-day "Glacier Discovery Northbound" and "Glacier Discovery Southbound" itineraries cruise between Whittier and Vancouver aboard Nieuw Amsterdam and Noordam. Ports include Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska.

• Seven-day "Alaska Inside Passage" cruises sail roundtrip from Vancouver on Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam and Volendam. Ports include Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, except for Noordam that stops at Sitka vs Skagway.

• Seven-day "Alaskan Explorer" cruises sail roundtrip from Seattle aboard Eurodam and Westerdam, and include calls at Victoria, British Columbia (evening stay); and Ketchikan, Juneau and Sitka.

• All ships cruising in Alaska feature expanded onboard programming: guests can engage with an Alaska naturalist, special EXC presentations explore local topics such as Alaska's bush pilots and the famous Iditarod race, and cruises with Glacier Bay take on a National Park Ranger and local Huna Tlingit guides.

Highlights for 2023 Denali Cruisetours:

• Nieuw Amsterdam and Noordam will offer Denali Cruisetours ranging from nine to 14 days.

• All Denali Cruisetours include a seven-day Glacier Discovery cruise featuring Glacier Bay, plus either College Fjord or Hubbard Glacier (depending on the direction), Inside Passage, as well as up to three nights at the McKinley Chalet Resort at the entrance to Denali National Park.

• All Double and Triple Denali itineraries include the Tundra Wilderness Tour, which provides the best wildlife viewing through Denali National Park.

• Holland America Line owns its motorcoaches, railcars and hotels, so schedules are preferential. Each Cruisetour gets a scenic ride on the luxury-domed McKinley Explorer, including select itineraries that offer

• Direct-to-Denali service, taking guests from their ship to their Denali hotel room on the same day.

Highlights for 2023 Yukon & Denali Cruisetours:

• Holland America Line is the ONLY cruise line to offer an Alaska cruise combined with an overland tour to Denali and the Yukon.

• Yukon & Denali Cruisetours range from nine to 18 days and include either a three- or four-day Inside Passage cruise on Koningsdam or Volendam, or a seven-day Glacier Discovery cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam or Noordam; a two-or three-night stay at Denali; and a journey into the Yukon.

• Every Yukon & Denali Cruisetour includes the services of a professional Journey Host, who makes time on land easy, convenient and insightful.

• All Yukon & Denali Cruisetours include a ride on the McKinley Explorer full-dome railcars, and select itineraries add on the historic White Pass & Yukon Route railroad from Skagway.

• Yukon & Denali Cruisetours feature two nights in Dawson City, affording guests more time to relive Gold Rush history. Additional overnight experiences vary depending on the Cruisetour.

• An included tour on the Klondike Spirit paddlewheeler takes guests along the Yukon River past stunning tall pines, historic towns and wildlife; nearly all Yukon & Denali Cruisetours include a Gold Dredge 8 tour; and every Yukon & Denali itinerary includes the Tundra Wilderness Tour at Denali National Park.

Holland America Line's McKinley Chalet Resort and Denali Square

Cruisetours includes a stay at the McKinley Chalet Resort at the entrance to Denali National Park. The property is Holland America Line's magnificent 68-acre hotel on the Nenana River. The resort features dining facilities and guest rooms, including a 99-room complex featuring Denali Suites with balconies and larger living areas.

Centrally located between the McKinley Chalet Resort and riverfront guest rooms, Denali Square is a gathering area with restaurants, an amphitheater, fire pits, outdoor seating, retail shops offering local goods, and an artist-in-residence cabin where Alaska native and local artists display and discuss their works.

Princess Cruises Announces First-Ever Summer Season Sailing to Mexico, Hawaii and the California Coast Roundtrip from Los Angeles
Princess Cruises announced a brand new 2022 summer season of cruises roundtrip from the Port of Los Angeles; the line's first ever summer season to Mexico, Hawaii, and the California Coast. Cruises start June 25, 2022, on Sapphire Princess and will take guests on 16 cruises ranging from four to 16 days, including a five-day getaway for the July 4th holiday.

Princess, the cruise line with the longest history sailing from the Port of Los Angeles, is offering its summer season of sailings, perfect for those looking for convenient cruise vacations onboard Sapphire Princess. The 2,670-guest MedallionClass cruise ship features more than 700 balconies, world-class dining and dazzling entertainment. Plus, guests can choose from a variety of curated shore excursions in every port to soak up the local sights, culture and cuisine.

Sapphire Princess itineraries include:

• NEW Mexican Riviera with La Paz – seven-day cruises with stops in Cabo San Lucas, La Paz and Ensenada. Departure dates: June 25 and September 3, 2022.

• Mexican Riviera with Puerto Vallarta – seven-day cruises with visits to Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada. Departure dates: July 30 and September 17, 2022.

• Baja Peninsula & Sea of Cortez – 10-day cruises featuring an overnight stay in Cabo San Lucas with La Paz, Loreto and Puerto Vallarta. Departure dates: September 24 and October 23, 2022.

• Classic California Coast – seven-day cruises featuring an overnight in San Francisco with San Diego and Ensenada. Departure dates: July 23, August 27 and September 10, 2022.

• Hawaiian Islands – 15- and 16-day cruises with stops in Hilo, Honolulu, Kauai (Nawiliwili), Maui (Kahului) and Ensenada. Cruise dates: July 7 (16 days), August 11 (16 days), October 4 (15 days) and November 2, 2022 (15 days).

• West Coast Getaway with San Francisco – five-day cruises featuring San Francisco and Ensenada. Departure dates: July 2 (with late night stay in San Francisco on the 4th of July) and August 6, 2022.

• West Coast Getaway with San Diego – four-day cruise to San Diego and Ensenada. Cruise departs October 19, 2022.

A special launch-week offer includes $1 deposits and $50 onboard spending money per person when booked by Feb. 24, 2022 (Offer is valid in United States, Canada and Puerto Rico).

Sapphire Princess offers Princess MedallionClass Vacations which begins with the Medallion wearable, a quarter-sized device that enables everything from expedited contactless boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever guests need, delivered directly to them, wherever they are on the ship. In addition, guests can share their favorite cruise moments using MedallionNet, the best WiFi at sea, as well as stay connected with friends and family back home, work remotely anywhere on the ship, quickly post content and stream favorite movies and shows.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 21.36 - 0.74%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 82.75 + 0.96%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 21.09 - 3.92%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which two 1930's ocean liners had seaplanes mounted between their funnels for the purpose of delivering the mail via air thirty-six hours before the ships docked?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the cruise ship that caught fire during a Christmas cruise in 1963 and sank six days later?

Answer - It was the Laconia of the Greek Line. The vessel was bought from the Netherland Line in 1962. It was built as Johann von Oldenbarnevelt in 1930. courtesy of Hans-Peter Lemcke-Braselmann, Koblenz,Germany


Cruise News - February 7, 2022

Cunard Announces Queen Anne
Cunard this week announced the name of the new ship joining its fleet, Queen Anne. Queen Anne will be Cunard's 249th ship and will make up a remarkable quartet of Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. This will mark the first time since 1999 that Cunard will have four ships at sea.

The name "Queen Anne" celebrates Cunard's rich heritage, royal history and refined status - joining a luxury contemporary fleet now honoring the names of each Queen Regnant over the last millennium.

The Cunard team explored multiple naming options and inspired by Queen Anne's reign, engaged with British historian, author and television presenter, Kate Williams, to assist in the detailed research. Kate says: "It is so exciting that the fourth ship of the fleet will be named after Queen Anne. She has a fascinating tale to tell – one of queenship, unity of developing constitutional monarchy, a golden age of the arts. She was an inspiring woman, wildly popular with her people. She should be celebrated. This new ship in the Cunard fleet is the perfect way to do it!"

Queen Anne will feature reimagined Cunard signature spaces as well as the introduction of new guest experiences within dining, culture and entertainment, for an unparalleled cruise experience underpinned by outstanding White Star Service. Bridging tradition and contemporary luxury, Queen Anne celebrates the influential design styles of both past and present and introduces an updated Cunard livery. World renowned designers have joined forces to create an extraordinary and thoughtful standard-setting design - inspiring a new way to travel at sea. The décor will reveal bold color tones and showcase a striking aesthetic, while in keeping with the renowned timeless Cunard sophistication.

Carnival UK President, Sture Myrmell comments, "I am absolutely delighted to welcome Queen Anne, the fourth ship to Cunard's fleet. This marks a very special moment in Cunard's 182-year history and showcases Cunard's exciting global plans for the future, allowing even more guests around the world to set sail with Cunard. With design inspired by the past and set for the future, Queen Anne is the perfect way for our guests to rediscover the joy of exploration and travel again. We look forward to sharing more details in the coming weeks and months."

Queen Anne's maiden season program will go on sale in May, with the ship's first sailings in early 2024. More in-depth details are to be shared shortly.

Silversea Cruises Announces All-New 71-day Grand Voyage
Today, Silversea Cruises launches its all-new 71-day Grand Voyage to Central and South America aboard Silversea's latest ship Silver Nova. Setting sail on January 4, 2024, Silversea's guests will journey deep into 38 destinations in 18 countries, travelling in the luxury cruise line's trademark level of service aboard the soon-to-be-launched Silver Nova. For the first time, and for all subsequent Grand Voyages across the fleet, the Grand Voyage South America 2024 will include round-trip business-class flights.*

Set to unlock remote and remarkable destinations for travellers, Silversea's Grand Voyage South America 2024 will circumnavigate Latin America, before taking guests deep inland along the meandering Amazon River to Manaus in the heart of the verdant rainforest. As well as enjoying a maiden call in Ilhabela (Brazil) – home to a vast UNESCO-listed biosphere reserve – guests will explore Ushuaia at South America's southernmost tip, in addition to the continent's striking glaciers and fjords. Immersing travellers into the vibrant Latin American culture, Silver Nova will call in Lima, Buenos Aires, and Montevideo, with an extended call in Rio de Janeiro – where guests will enjoy the famous Carnival with three overnights – showcasing a must-visit staple of South American discovery. Ahead of arriving in Fort Lauderdale on March 15, 2024, travellers will explore the Eastern Caribbean's most spectacular destinations, with calls in Spanish Town, Castries, and Bequia. Guests will also experience the region's rich culinary flavours – both on board and ashore – through Silversea's highly lauded S.A.L.T. programme.

Guests joining Silver Nova for the Grand Voyage South America 2024 will be among the first to experience one of the most environmentally conscious cruise ships ever built. Innovative, unprecedented, state-of-the-art technological solutions will make her the first hybrid, luxury cruise ship to be free of local emissions at port, with advanced hybrid technology featuring fuel cells paving the way for the future of luxurious, sustainable cruising.

"Curated by our destination experts, our new South America Grand Voyage 2024 – hosted aboard the pioneering Silver Nova – will link the continent's most enriching experiences for our well-travelled guests," says Barbara Muckermann, Chief Commercial Officer, Silversea Cruises. "With the inclusion of business-class air, guests travelling on the South America Grand Voyage 2024, and on all future Grand Voyages with Silversea, will journey in superlative comfort. From three overnights to celebrate Rio de Janeiro's famous carnival to an exclusive evening at Manaus' beautiful opera house in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, the range of experiences on offer with this once-in-a-lifetime voyage is unique."

Drawing on a connection to the culture, heritage and identity of each location, Silversea's exclusive events for the Grand Voyage South America 2024 include:

• Folklore Festivities along the Panama Canal: Guests will enjoy a traditional folkloric show, followed by a carnival party – complete with Panama hats and spirited salsa dancing – as they take the enchanting journey from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

• Bespoke Heritage Tour at Callao Monumental: A full cultural immersion awaits guests with the curation of a personalised, and private, tour of Callao Monumental, considered Peru's most important reference of social transformation through art. The tour will end with locally prepared, authentic culinary delights and cocktails to the backdrop of a salsa fiesta.

• The Best Seats at the World's Biggest Carnival: Guests will revel in the rhythmic magic of Rio de Janeiro's iconic Carnival across three days of exclusive parade access and the best seats to view the heart of the action.

• Operatic Delights in the Amazon Rainforest: Under the shimmering stars and amidst the lush rainforest canopy, guests will experience a night at the opera like no other. Located in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, Manaus' opera house is a historical landmark and a spectacular example of Renaissance architecture.

• Guests will watch in awe during an exclusive performance, enjoyed with a decadent cocktail in hand.

• An Exclusive Evening with Bridgetown's Polo Elite: Guests will rub shoulders with the Bridgetown polo players – Barbados's most iconic sports team – during an intimate dinner that follows an afternoon of adrenaline sport. Intricately prepared by an award-winning Bajan Master Chef, guests will savour local delicacies and sip champagne in the company of the island's polo elite.

Vidanta Cruises Presents its Maiden Vessel, Vidanta Elegant
Grupo Vidanta has spent the last 47 years creating extraordinary vacation experiences in the country's most beautiful destinations. Now, Latin America's leading name in entertainment and destination resorts presents the exclusive preview itinerary of Vidanta Cruises, Mexico's first-ever luxury cruise line. The exclusive preview is available to guests of Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta and includes an extraordinary three-day, two-night journey on Vidanta Elegant—Vidanta Cruises' maiden vessel that offers an adults-only sailing experience akin to being on your own private yacht. The itinerary kicks off on April 14th and is designed to showcase the magnificent coastlines of Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán.

Vidanta Elegant has been carefully customized to create a singular and highly personalized experience in luxury sailing while offering a wide range of amenities, entertainment, and activities. The exclusive preview will showcase Mexican culture and traditions by visiting some of the country's hidden gems on the coastline and highlighting the unique beauty of Mexico.

With a capacity of 298 guests and featuring 149 stunningly beautiful staterooms and suites, Vidanta Elegant offers breathtaking exterior views and prioritizes comfort, style, and spaciousness in an environment of complete exclusivity and luxury. And by incorporating the Vidanta Extraordinary Standards—one of the hospitality industry's leading comprehensive health and safety systems, Vidanta Cruises is the first cruise line with COVID protocol built into its launch and operation. Vidanta Elegant also leads the way in industry-changing technology by using custom-built, medical-grade PYURE filtration systems that are proven to eradicate 99.9% of all viruses.

"When we began the process of bringing Vidanta Cruises to life, we were very clear that we wanted to exceed our guests' expectations, while also positively impacting Mexico and our people. After an arduous process, we couldn't be happier with the result. Not only have we become the first Mexican developer to operate both on land and at sea, but we are generating direct and indirect jobs that will benefit many communities along Mexico's Pacific Coast, and we are positioning our country as a world-class tourist destination," said Ivan Chavez, executive vice president of Grupo Vidanta. "We wish to take this opportunity to reiterate Grupo Vidanta's commitment to the development of Mexico. We will continue working to inspire generations of happiness and revolutionize the tourism industry," he concluded.

Vidanta Elegant features 13 restaurants and bars, a state-of-the-art spa and fitness center, and a lounge with live entertainment. It also leads the industry in many design aspects, including an average of almost twice as many outdoor and public spaces per guest as the world's top cruise ships; a balcony square footage superior to those of major national and international cruise ships; and a passenger-to-crew ratio of almost one-to-one, while the other top ships rated one-to-five.

Grupo Vidanta is proud to bring the award-winning hospitality and entertainment offerings, as well as the exceptional service it's known for, to the sea. Vidanta Cruises will set a new standard in the travel industry and mark a milestone in Mexico's maritime history.

Oceania Cruises Names Chef Alexis Quaretti as Director of Culinary Programs
Oceania Cruises today announced the appointment of Chef Alexis Quaretti as Director of Culinary Programs and Development. Quaretti previously served as a senior executive chef for Oceania Cruises and now returns to oversee all aspects of the development, introduction, and implementation of new concepts to continually elevate the most awarded dining experiences at sea across the line's seven acclaimed ships and 12 restaurant brands.

Originally from Fontainebleau, France, Quaretti started his career at some of the best restaurants in the world including the 1-Michelin-star Château de Marçay, the 3-Michelin-star L'Arpège, where he not only discovered but also refined his knowledge and appreciation for vegetable-based cuisine, and the 2-Michelin-star La Pyramide.

In 2004 Quaretti joined Oceania Cruises and in 2008 was promoted to executive chef at the young age of 27. In 2010, he joined an Asian mogul to travel and cook between St. Tropez and Hong Kong before rejoining Oceania Cruises in 2012. Two years later he was promoted to senior executive chef, overseeing a brigade of 140 chefs onboard. In 2017, Alexis took an opportunity to spread his culinary wings and expand his career knowledge and creativity by taking on a leadership role at Viking River where he lead culinary development and menu implementation for all restaurants and food & beverage outlets for their ships across the globe.

"We welcome Chef Alexis, one of the most influential chefs in hospitality, back to the Oceania Cruises family with open arms," said Howard Sherman, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises. "He brings a unique perspective to the role, having been an integral part of our growth and prowess over the last 20 years helping build our reputation for serving the Finest Cuisine at Sea. Never resting on our laurels and always challenging ourselves to refine, create and further elevate, we are excited to have him at the helm steering our culinary future with his profound expertise and drive for excellence."

With his return, Quaretti plans to guide the line with his culinary philosophy which has been driven by his love and respect for a true "Cuisine du Marche," where one respects nature, and with that, the changing seasons, ensuring the freshest and most flavorful ingredients are sourced and respectfully prepared.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 21.52 + 8.63%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 81.96 + 5.33%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 21.95 + 5.38%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the cruise ship that caught fire during a Christmas cruise in 1963 and sank six days later?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
In 1968, the American Export Liner, Independence, was chartered by a promoter who charged separately for food and accommodation. He also gave the ship a distinctive paint job - what was so distinctive about it?

Answer - She received a sunburst design (with Jean Harlow's eyes) that covered her hull and funnels. It was repainted once during the summer and then removed courtesy of Richard MacGregory, Longmeadow, MA.


Cruise News - January 31, 2022

Royal Caribbean Takes Delivery of Wonder of the Seas
Adventures aboard the world's newest wonder are on the horizon for vacationers of all ages. Today, Royal Caribbean International took delivery of Wonder of the Seas, the next highly anticipated and innovative ship in the cruise line's award-winning lineup. Marking the completion of three years of construction, a traditional flag-changing ceremony took place in Marseille, France, with shipyard partner Chantiers de l'Atlantique. Wonder will make its official debut in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on March 4, to begin sailing 7-night cruises to the Caribbean before heading to Barcelona, Spain; and Rome to offer summer adventures in the Mediterranean.

"Wonder of the Seas will energize cruising in a bolder and bigger way. Adding this ship to our already best-in-class fleet elevates the company in continuing to lead the industry with new features and innovation," said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. "This is one more way that we're delivering world-class and memorable vacations, responsibly, to guests around the world."

"Taking delivery of Wonder of the Seas is the culmination of 30 months of ingenuity and partnership across more than 2,000 committed crew members and workers who are among the best at what they do," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Along with taking the revolutionary Oasis Class ships to a new level of wonder, innovation and adventure, Wonder sets the stage for the spring and summer vacations families and all travelers alike are looking forward to in the new year. The combination of brand-new features and favorites that span thrills, entertainment, dining and nightlife is unparalleled, and it's what will make our latest and most innovative ship the world's newest wonder and the ultimate vacation in the Caribbean and Europe."

"Wonder of the Seas represents a new step forward in the Oasis Class ships. Our teams have worked under difficult conditions but in a very united way to finally make major changes that enhanced the ship performance," said Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l'Atlantique. "Wonder is really an outstanding new ship."

The fifth in Royal Caribbean's revolutionary Oasis class of ships, Wonder has adventures across eight unique neighborhoods – a Royal Caribbean first – in store for vacationers of all ages. The young and the young at heart can discover, wonder and make memories in a variety of ways and places designed for family bonding and me time, including:

• Suite Neighborhood – The new, eighth neighborhood offers Royal Suite Class guests an elevated Suite Sun Deck in a new location, complete with a plunge pool, bar and plenty of loungers and nooks to kick back; along with favorites such as Coastal Kitchen, the private restaurant, the Suite Lounge, and the largest Ultimate Family Suite yet to host a family of 10.

• The Mason Jar Southern Restaurant & Bar – The new hotspot serves up southern staples and new twists on classics for brunch, dinner and in the late night, including savory johnnycakes, southern fried chicken, crab beignets, and shrimp and grits. Completing the experience is live country music, farmhouse-style decor, a collection of American whiskeys and spiked shakes.

• Wonder Playscape – The underwater-themed play area for kids is a whole new adventure with slides, climbing walls, games, an interactive mural activated by touch and imaginative puzzles.

• The Vue Bar – The happiest of happy hours can be found at the new cantilevered bar that offers panoramic ocean views by day, and after sunset, it shines bright with a colorful mosaic canopy.

• Caribbean Pool Deck – At the center of the Caribbean vibes is The Lime & Coconut, alongside the trio of high-speed waterslides, The Perfect Storm, kids aqua park

• Splashaway Bay, Casitas, in-pool loungers, live music and more.

• El Loco Fresh and Cantina Fresca - The grab-and-go spot for Mexican delights, like made-to-order tacos, burritos and quesadillas, now debuts Cantina Fresca. The dedicated bar serves a selection of "aguas frescas," margaritas and other Mexican staples.

Other returning favorites on board Wonder include Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, Royal Caribbean's latest twist on the Italian trattoria; the tallest slide at sea, The Ultimate Abyss; the newly designed, dedicated kids and teens spaces at Adventure Ocean, Social100 and The Patio; the FlowRider surf simulator, twin rock-climbing walls, the Central Park neighborhood lined by more than 20,000 real plants; and more.

Upcoming U.S. and Europe Cruises

• Sailing from Fort Lauderdale – Wonder will set sail to the Caribbean from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale between March and April 2022. The 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries include visits to the cruise line's private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, and Nassau, The Bahamas; Roatan, Honduras; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

• Sailing from Barcelona and Rome – Starting in May, the new Oasis Class ship charts course for summer vacations in the Mediterranean. The 7-night Western Mediterranean cruises will visit marquee destinations like Naples and Florence, Italy; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; and Provence, France.

• Sailing from Port Canaveral, Florida – Year-round adventures on Wonder begin in November 2022, when the newest addition to the Royal Caribbean lineup cruises to the Caribbean from Port Canaveral. The destinations vacationers have in store range from Perfect Day at CocoCay and Philipsburg, St. Maarten to Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, and Cozumel, Mexico.

Holland America Line Celebrates Naming of Rotterdam
Holland America Line's newest ship Rotterdam is set to get the royal treatment at a naming ceremony in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, May 30, 2022. Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands will be the ship's godmother, carrying on a Dutch royal tradition that began in the 1920s.

"Our new Rotterdam is a spectacular ship, and we are thrilled to have its naming ceremony scheduled with a celebratory cruise that allows our guests to join the festivities and officially welcome her to the fleet," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "Our history is deeply rooted in the Netherlands, and it was only fitting to name our newest Rotterdam in the city of Rotterdam with a royal godmother to honor our Dutch roots. We are deeply grateful that Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet will once again act as godmother to a Holland America Line ship."

When the ship arrives at Rotterdam May 30, a private ceremony will be held for invited guests that will be broadcast throughout the ship. During the voyage, guests will enjoy special events exclusive to the naming sailing, including a celebratory Gala Dinner and an opportunity to participate in the blessing of the ship's bell, along with surprises and commemorative gifts.

Once the ship departs Rotterdam, guests will spend the remainder of the voyage exploring the ports of Kristiansand, Stavanger and the stunning fjords and charming villages of Norway. A highlight of the itinerary is a day of scenic cruising in Sognefjord. The largest and deepest fjord in Norway, the "King of the Fjords" is one of the world's most beautiful destinations lined with majestic mountains and lush landscapes. In Flåm, the famous railway offers an unforgettable experience, climbing from sea level to 2,800 feet, crossing back and forth over rivers and passing through 20 tunnels.

Discovery Princess Officially Delivered to Princess Cruises
The newest cruise ship in the Princess Cruises fleet – Discovery Princess – was delivered on January 28 during an official handover at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. Discovery Princess expands the Princess Cruises fleet to 15 MedallionClass vessels and features an evolution of the design platform used for the cruise line's previous Royal-Class ships. The Discovery Princess handover was attended by John Padgett, President of Princess Cruises, Captain Gennaro Arma, and Luigi Matarazzo, General Manager Merchant Ships Division of Fincantieri.

"Today marks a significant milestone for Princess Cruises as we officially take ownership of the spectacular Discovery Princess," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "We extend our immense gratitude to our long-time and trusted partners at Fincantieri, the shipbuilders of all six of our Royal-Class vessels with Discovery Princess and look forward to welcoming our first guests to experience the beauty of the ship when they embark in just a few weeks."

The 3,660-guest Discovery Princess is the sixth and final Royal-Class newbuild and shares all of the spectacular style and luxury of her sister ships – Enchanted Princess?, Sky Princess, Majestic Princess?, Regal Princess? and Royal Princess?. With an array of innovative new experiences, guests will enjoy 270-degree sweeping views from the largest balconies at sea in the Sky Suites, unwind in ultimate comfort at The Sanctuary and indulge the senses with world-class dining options. Plus, Princess live entertainment presents mesmerizing new Broadway-style production shows that can only be seen in the state-of-the-art Princess Theater. Discovery Princess uses the latest technologies to reduce fuel consumption, treat wastewater, and support our environmental compliance efforts.

In addition, Discovery Princess is the newest ship to join the fleet offering Princess MedallionClass Vacations which begins with the Medallion™ wearable, a quarter-sized, device that enables everything from expedited contactless boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever guests need, delivered directly to them, wherever they are on the ship. In addition, guests can share their favorite cruise moments using MedallionNet, the best WiFi at sea, as well as stay connected with friends and family back home, work remotely anywhere on the ship, quickly post content and stream favorite movies and shows.

As the leading cruise line on the west coast, Discovery Princess will depart Italy and make her way to the Port of Los Angeles to sail on a series of Mexican Riviera and California Coast voyages from March 27 – April 24, 2022, before heading up the Pacific coast to begin a season of seven-day Alaska cruises from Seattle.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Realigns Product Offering
In service for five months, Atlas Ocean Voyages' newly constructed, expedition ship, World Navigator, has been bringing experienced, fun-seeking travelers to some of the world's most remote and captivating destinations. Throughout, guests and travel advisors have overwhelmingly enjoyed Atlas' innovative, active, and all-inclusive luxury style, as well as communicated their preferences for elements they value.

In response to their feedback, Atlas Ocean Voyages announced today that, the luxe-adventure expedition line will offer its voyages independent of included air travel and shore excursions, beginning with bookings made from February 15, 2022, for departures from April 24, 2022, and beyond. Atlas remains an all-inclusive cruise, and, with the new set of inclusions, travelers enjoy more competitive cruise fares, as well as more convenient options for air travel and more personalized, shoreside adventure options in small and authentic ports, a hallmark of Atlas' distinctive itineraries. World Navigator is currently completing her successful inaugural Antarctica season and will be charting a course for the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, The Arctic, Iceland, Greenland and the Fjords in April.

"Since our first ship, World Navigator, launched in August 2021, we have learned a lot from our travel advisor partners and guests," said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "And from their feedback, we are refining and realigning those aspects of the Atlas experience that they have told us they value most. As a result of these improvements, Atlas' cruise fares will be more attractive, as well as provide greater choice and flexibility for guests."

"What has not changed is our commitment to deliver excellent luxury adventures to travelers and our appreciation of our valued travel advisor partners," Alberto adds. "That is evident with our current promotion of paying travelers $2,000 to incentivize them to book with a travel advisor."

For all new bookings made through March 31, 2022, travelers can enjoy a savings of $1,000 per guest – up to $2,000 per room – for making their luxe-adventure voyage booking with a Travel Advisor.

On board, guests enjoy Atlas Ocean Voyages' signature relaxed luxury style and inclusions, such as prepaid gratuities, premium wine and spirits, international beers and specialty coffees, international gourmet cuisine, and L'OCCITANE bath amenities. In every stateroom, guests enjoy robes, slippers and binoculars to use throughout the voyage, personalized coffee, teas and bar service, and butler service in suites.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is a luxe-adventure, expedition cruise line designed for discerning, fun-seeking travelers to immerse in unique and awe-inspiring moments in remote and captivating destinations. Launched in August 2021, World Navigator features 98 suites, solo suites with no single supplements, and staterooms and is the line's first newly constructed small expedition ship, which can reach smaller, authentic and exclusive locales where larger ships cannot reach.

World Navigator will cruise the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and Iceland, Greenland and The Arctic in summer 2022; Central and South America in the autumn; and return to Antarctica for her winter 2022-23 season. Atlas' second ship, World Traveller, launches in November 2022, with three additional sister ships, World Seeker, World Adventurer and World Discoverer, to join the fleet by 2024.

Princess Cruises Expands Contactless MedallionPay Payment into Destinations
Guests sailing on Princess MedallionClass ships now have a contactless purchasing option that eliminates the need for them to carry cash or credit cards into destinations on their cruise vacation. The premium cruise brand today announced the expansion of MedallionPay, the frictionless payment experience that lets guests use their Princess Medallion wearable device to shop, play, eat and drink, with a number of merchants in ports of call in the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera and all Alaska ports of call, and also to now include 7% back on shoreside purchases as an onboard ship credit for the inaugural year.

Previously exclusive to purchases made on board a Princess MedallionClass ship, MedallionPay expands the safety and convenience of contactless payment into ports, allowing guests to leave their wallets and smart phones in their stateroom safes and use their Medallion to shop with added security in stores displaying the MedallionPay seal in their storefronts.

"MedallionPay offers the ultimate in payment convenience and security for guests both on board and now in ports we visit seamlessly blending the onboard and destination experience," said John Padgett, president of Princess Cruises. "What makes MedallionPay extra special is the instant onboard value it delivers to guests in addition to base benefits with their associated credit card."

MedallionPay currently is available in St. Thomas, Cabo San Lucas, Cozumel, and Puerta Vallarta, with more destinations and merchants being added in the near future, including extensions into all Alaska ports Princess ships call on. Among prominent merchants now accepting MedallionPay are Diamonds International and Cariloha, as well as more than 65 other retailers from restaurants, bars, souvenir stores, and jewelers to museums and excursion operators. MedallionPay is available to all retailers large and small with no setup or monthly fees to register as a MedallionPay merchant, no required long-term contracts and the software is free to use. Merchants simply pay a transaction fee that includes all credit card processing fees and can cancel service at their discretion.

"We are so excited to be partnering on the MedallionPay program with Princess Cruises," said Wendy Tarapani, Diamonds International. "Our guests are finding it an easy way to make their purchases since MedallionPay is a natural extension to the onboard experience."

Guests who make purchases with participating merchants enjoy the convenience, security and a 7% shipboard credit on purchases when they associate a credit card with a MedallionPay account. And it equates to even bigger rewards when guests associate their MedallionPay account with a cash back credit card.

"Being able to shop using my Medallion made purchasing easier and having a discount associated with it is fantastic," said Lori Woodbury, a guest on Crown Princess who trialed MedallionPay during its St. Thomas trial in early 2020. "You don't have to remember your room key, and you never have to have cash or a credit card with you."

No credit card or personal information is stored on the Medallion. And the MedallionPay ecosystem exceeds the security levels used in financial institutions and passports by using the latest methods of tokenization, abstraction and encryption.

When making a purchase with participating retail locations in select ports of call, merchants securely confirm the transaction with two-factor authentication that exceeds typical credit card transaction.

Princess has offered MedallionPay contactless payment for all onboard purchases on MedallionClass since the Princess MedallionClass Experience debuted in late 2017.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 19.81 + 0.35%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 77.81 - 1.17%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.415 + 186.20%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 20.83 + 4.31%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
In 1968, the American Export Liner, Independence, was chartered by a promoter who charged separately for food and accommodation. He also gave the ship a distinctive paint job - what was so distinctive about it?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Many people know that Cunard's Queen Elizabeth 2 and P&O's Canberra served as troop ships during the Falkland islands conflict in 1982, but can you name the other former liner that was also pressed into service during the conflict?

Answer - UGANDA which was used as a hospital ship courtesy of Richard MacGregory, Longmeadow, MA.


Cruise News - January 24, 2022

Crystal Cruises Announces Suspension of Operations
Crystal announced today that it has suspended operations for its Ocean and Expedition ships through April 29, 2022, with River cruises suspended through the end of May 2022. Suspending operations will provide Crystal’s management team with an opportunity to evaluate the current state of business and examine various options moving forward.

Crystal Serenity and Crystal Endeavor will complete their current voyages on January 30 and February 4, respectively.

“This was an extremely difficult decision but a prudent one given the current business environment and recent developments with our parent company, Genting Hong Kong,” said Jack Anderson, Crystal’s president. “Crystal has been synonymous with luxury cruising for more than 30 years and we look forward to welcoming back our valued guests when we resume operations. We wish to thank our guests and travel advisors for their incredible support during these ongoing challenging times.”

Crystal will provide a full refund of cruise fare paid, which will be processed automatically to the original form of payment so there is no further action on the guest’s part. If the cruise was paid via a Future Cruise Payment or Credit, the full value will be returned to their Crystal Society profile account.

New Southern Restaurant & Bar Headlines Dining Venues on Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International takes adventure tableside aboard the world's newest wonder, Wonder of the Seas, unveiling a lineup of more than 20 dining venues headlined by the debut of The Mason Jar Southern Restaurant & Bar. On board the highly anticipated ship that sets sail in March 2022, families and travelers alike also have in store an unmatched variety of flavors that range from Italian classics at Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar to American sports bar favorites at Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, to New England-inspired dishes at Hooked Seafood.

Where southern comfort food meets Royal Caribbean's hospitality, The Mason Jar invites guests to share a meal, drinks and memories in a warm, casual setting. Every detail serves up southern charm in the new specialty restaurant, and setting the scene is farmhouse-style and rustic decor, live country music, even a cozy porch decked out with a swing for lounging and a great photo op, and a dedicated bar at the center of it all.

On the menu are southern staples and new twists on classics the whole family can enjoy for brunch, dinner and late-night bites, beginning with freshly baked buttermilk biscuits and jalapeno cornbread. Brunch favorites range from savory johnnycakes topped with barbeque pulled pork to the Sweet-Tooth Cinnamon Roll. At suppertime, highlights include fried green tomatoes, authentic southern fried chicken, crab beignets served with lump crab dip, and shrimp and grits. And for a sweet ending, there's everything from traditional pies to spiked floats and shakes. Plus, keeping the good times rolling is a robust collection of more than a dozen American whiskeys and a lineup of southern libations, such as the classic mint julep dusted tableside with powdered sugar and the Mississippi Moonlight – made with blackberry moonshine, blackberries and lemonade, and served in a chilled mason jar. Whether at a table for family dinner or at the bar for a bite, a nightcap and live music, The Mason Jar will be a hotspot day and night.

The Mason Jar is just the beginning, with Wonder serving up a variety of restaurants, bars and lounges to choose from across eight signature neighborhoods. From Central Park to the all-new Suite Neighborhood – an Oasis Class first – more dining highlights on the upcoming ship include:

• The Vue – The happiest of happy hours can be found at this new cantilevered bar. The Vue offers panoramic ocean views by day, and after sunset, it shines bright with a colorful mosaic canopy overhead.

• Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar – It's a family-style affair every day at Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, the first on an Oasis Class ship. On the menu are freshly made, authentic staples, from hand-tossed pizzas to charcuterie boards and veal meatballs, to an extensive wine list, wine flights and cocktails, like an Aperol Spritz and Negroni.

• Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade – This popular venue brings guests of all ages together to catch the big game across dozens of big-screen TVs, battle it out in friendly competition at the arcade, and munch on bar fare and ice-cold draft beers.

• El Loco Fresh and Cantina Fresca – The grab-and-go spot for Mexican delights, like made-to-order tacos, burritos and quesadillas, now debuts a dedicated bar called Cantina Fresca that serves a selection of "aguas frescas," margaritas and other Mexican staples.

• The Lime & Coconut – This signature pool deck experience is at the center of the Caribbean vibes, with multiple poolside bars and live music.

Vacationers can also enjoy more options, such as Wonderland, Asian-inspired flavors at Izumi, American steakhouse Chops Grille, American seasonal dishes at 150 Central Park, Johnny Rockets, Starbucks, Sugar Beach, and more. Whatever the mood on any given day, Wonder introduces a culinary lineup that caters to guests and their varying palates. Throughout the ship, travelers can also complement their meal with a unique set of Caribbean-inspired drinks, bold and spirited classics, and even zero-proof cocktails as part of Royal Caribbean's reimagined beverage menus.

Setting sail for the first time in March 2022, Wonder will call three marquee destinations home during its inaugural year: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (March-April); Barcelona, Spain, and Rome (April-October); and Port Canaveral, Florida (year-round, starting November). The new ship's combination of firsts and favorites will bring to life adventures across thrills, dining, entertainment, technology and more as travelers sail to locales in the eastern and western Caribbean, including Royal Caribbean's private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; and Cozumel, Mexico. In Europe, vacationers can head to the western Mediterranean and visit must-see places, such as Naples and Florence, Italy; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; and Provence, France.

Carnival Cruise Line Adding More Embarkation Enhancements
Carnival Cruise Line said today that it will be the largest cruise line to use the VeriFLY solution for its operations from U.S. homeports, with a pilot program that will start this Saturday for guests boarding Mardi Gras at Port Canaveral, in addition to finalizing plans to expand in-terminal testing capabilities for vaccinated guests prior to embarkation, specifically for short itineraries of 3- and 4-day voyages. Carnival also said it will continue to operate under its current protocols, sailing vaccinated voyages, requiring pre-embarkation testing and following onboard indoor mask requirements until further notice.

VeriFLY by Daon is now widely used in the airline industry, and it will allow Carnival guests to upload their proof of vaccination and testing information so that it can be verified in advance of the sailing – resulting in a streamlined embarkation experience at the terminal. Once the pilot at Port Canaveral is complete, Carnival intends to move quickly to implement the solution across its fleet.

Carnival is also working to expand testing capabilities at the terminal for vaccinated guests, specifically for short itineraries (3- and 4-day voyages). Once implemented, vaccinated guests will be able to meet the pre-cruise testing requirement as part of the embarkation process. Pre-registration will be required, and there will be capacity limits based on the resources of testing providers. Testing sites to support short itinerary cruises will be phased in and announced by the end of January.

Carnival also said it intends to follow its Have Fun. Be Safe. operating protocols until further notice. Guests and travel agents will be receiving more details on operations for February and beyond over the coming days.

On Jan. 13, Carnival restarted operations from another homeport, with Carnival Sunshine returning to its year-round schedule from Charleston, SC. To date, Carnival has 19 of its 22 U.S.-based ships in guest operation, sailing from eight homeports on the Atlantic, Gulf and West coasts.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Will Deploy Two Expedition Ships to Antarctica
Atlas Ocean Voyages announced today that the luxe-adventure cruise line will deploy two expedition ships to Antarctica for the winter 2022-23 season. World Traveller will embark on her inaugural Antarctica season, while World Navigator will return to Antarctica for its second. The two ships will offer travelers a choice of 20 expeditions, ranging from nine- to twenty-night itineraries, sailing from November 2022 through March 2023. The two ships will offer different kinds of expeditions: World Navigator will sail shorter nine- to 11-night expeditions, while World Traveller will offer extended immersive itineraries, ranging from 13 to 20 nights. Additionally, travelers who make a new booking through a travel advisor by March 31, 2022, can save up to $2,000 per suite or stateroom on these newly announced itineraries, as well as an additional 20 percent when paying in full. For more information about World Traveller and World Navigator's winter 2022-23 Antarctica season, please visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com.

"Atlas Ocean Voyages brings travelers to remote and captivating destinations for once-in-a-lifetime and bucket-list experiences," said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "In our brand's second Antarctica season, we offer travelers a choice of two different Antarctica experiences by deploying both recently launched World Navigator and newly constructed World Traveller to the region. Whichever Atlas expedition ship travelers choose, our expert expedition teams will deliver fascinating context and unforgettable experiences on the Southern Continent."

World Traveller will sail nine expeditions to Antarctica on 13-, 16- and 20-night itineraries for an in-depth exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula. Her inaugural Antarctica voyage departs on November 1, 2022, with a 17-night expedition from Montevideo, Uruguay, to Ushuaia, Argentina. Guests on this voyage, as well as those aboard the January 16 and February 18, 2023, expedition will visit and make select landings at the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Islands, South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula to catch sightings of a variety of penguins, including King, Rockhoppers, Gentoo, Chinstrap, Megellanic and Macaroni penguins. Travelers can also choose among three departures that cross the Antarctic Circle and join the Order of the Red Nose on the December 1 and 14, 2022, and February 5, 2023, expeditions. On the November 18, 2022, and January 3 and March 10, 2023, departures, World Traveller will bring guests to the Diego Ramirez Islands, Chile, which is situated in the Drake Passage. All World Traveller expeditions, except for the November 1, 2022, voyage will sail round-trip from Ushuaia.

Alternatively, World Navigator will sail 11 round-trip expeditions from Ushuaia on nine-, 11-, and 20-night itineraries starting on December 3, 2022. For the most accessible Antarctica expedition, travelers can choose among five, nine-night departures that feature some of the must-see sites throughout the South Shetland Islands and on the Antarctic Peninsula. Furthermore, World Navigator will also bring guests into the Antarctic Circle on 11-night expeditions departing January 10 and 30 and March 2, 2023. The December 12, 2022, expedition brings guests on a unique nine-night, Tierra Del Fuego expedition that visits Chile's most awestriking and scenic fjord lands and glaciers. Furthermore, travelers can combine the Tierra Del Fuego expedition with the subsequent 20-night Antarctica immersive expedition, departing December 21, for an epic Tierra Del Fuego and Antarctica New Year's expedition.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is a luxe-adventure expedition cruise brand designed for discerning, fun-seeking travelers to immerse in unique and awe-inspiring moments in remote and captivating destinations. World Navigator, Atlas' first ship, has begun service and World Traveller will launch in July 2022, with three additional sister ships, World Seeker, World Adventurer and World Discoverer, to join the fleet by the end of 2023. At 9,930 GRTs, Atlas Ocean Voyages' ships are Polar Category C- and Ice Class 1B-certified.

Princess Cruises Names Chef Rudi Sodamin Head of Culinary Arts
Princess Cruises, the world's leading international premium cruise line, today announced Chef Rudi Sodamin will become its first head of culinary arts, effective immediately. Sodamin is currently the master chef for Holland America Line, a position he will retain as he takes on his new role as head of culinary arts for Princess.

"Chef Rudi is a hands-on leader with proven ability to motivate teams to achieve new levels of creativity and inspiration," said Jan Swartz, group president serving Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn and P&O Cruises Australia brands. "Princess is already well-known for its strong culinary culture. We are bringing in Chef Rudi to build the kind of excitement and dining experiences that will impress our guests. He is the perfect person to bring an entirely new level of excellence and innovation to our culinary product, environmental dining experience, and service delivery."

Throughout his career, Sodamin has been the driving force behind revolutionizing culinary practices and elevating the perception of fine dining in the cruise industry. An internationally-respected food authority, Sodamin is the most highly-decorated chef working on the world's oceans and is widely considered one of the most innovative, energetic, and influential chefs in the hospitality industry. Among his most recent accomplishments has been the highly successful launch of Rudi's Sel de Mer restaurant onboard three Holland America Line's ships. Carnival Cruise Line was so impressed by the restaurant concept, leadership commissioned Sodamin to create Rudi's Seagrill for its new Excel class ship Mardi Gras, which had its inaugural cruise in August 2021.

Sodamin began his career at the age of 14 with a kitchen apprenticeship in Kurhotel Heilbrunn in Bad Mitterndorf, Austria. By 23, Sodamin was appointed Chef de Cuisine on the luxury line Vistafjord with Norwegian American Cruise Line—he was the youngest chef in the cruise line world to have responsibility on that scale. By 26, he was named corporate executive chef onboard the legendary Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2)—again, the youngest chef at sea to attain such a title. Under his stewardship in the 1990s, the food served by the historic Cunard Line was widely acclaimed as the best in the world. After a dozen years at Cunard Line as vice president of food and beverage and corporate executive chef, Sodamin joined Royal Caribbean Cruise Line as director of corporate food and beverage operations and culinary spokesperson. During his tenure, he built an international culinary team from across 50 nations and launched the brand's first test kitchen. Sodamin has continued his impactful tradition of innovation with Holland America Line, instituting the line's first Culinary Council (of which he is Chairman) as well as spearheading the Holland America Line Culinary Art Center. Additionally, Sodamin championed professional development of all Holland America Line culinary staff and led the development and launch of a residential Culinary Training Center in Manilla, the Philippines, working with the Culinary Institute of America to develop curriculum.

"I see food as the way to our guests' hearts, and the individuals on the Princess Cruise culinary team bring great heart to what they do and take tremendous pride in their work," said Sodamin "My goal is to grow that pride and lead the culinary workforce to new performance heights through innovative approaches to teamwork and creativity, collaboratively creating new signature interactive dining experiences, and motivating this talented team to new levels of culinary artistry."

John Padgett, president of Princess Cruises, particularly appreciates Sodamin's extensive track record for engaging with culinary crews to provide the best possible guest experiences.

"A food experience is about human passion, energy, excitement, and expertise all channeled together to create an emotional, multisensory experience with a true human connection," said Padgett. "Chef Rudi is one of the few who truly understands this and how to consistently create culinary magic for guests, and we are fortunate to be able to tap his extensive know-how and leadership to further elevate the Princess on-board dining experience and inspire our culinary teammates throughout the fleet."

Sodamin's many accolades include a rating of 17 (out of 20) and Three Toques from the prestigious Gault-Millau Guide (1998)—the first for an onboard restaurant and the only such award presented at sea. Sodamin has also authored 14 cookbooks, the most recent of which is Rudi's Sel de Mer: For the Love of Seafood (2021).

Disney Cruise Line Introduces Pixar Day at Sea
Disney Cruise Line guests will be immersed in the ever-unfolding stories of their favorite toys, monsters and heroes during the all-new Pixar Day at Sea aboard special sailings on the Disney Fantasy in early 2023.

Featuring one-of-a-kind experiences, this day-long celebration on select seven-night voyages will bring to life the beloved Pixar tales of "Toy Story," "Monsters, Inc.," "The Incredibles," "Finding Nemo" and more exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests. Themed dining, character encounters, dance parties and a theatrical musical experience await families on this fun-filled day at sea that culminates with a deck party of incredible proportions.

A Pixar film festival, exclusive merchandise and photo opportunities will also be available as part of the new celebration. Other details and highlights include:

Character Encounters

• From morning until night, guests will dance, play and interact with their favorite Pixar pals, including Woody, Buzz Lightyear and Bo Peep from "Toy Story"; Mike, Sulley and Boo from "Monsters, Inc."; Joy and

• Sadness from "Inside Out"; Dug and Russell from "Up"; and everyone's favorite supers – Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and Frozone from "The Incredibles."

Immersive Entertainment

• A new nighttime spectacular will call upon Disney Cruise Line guests to help the Incredibles save the day.

• A first-of-its-kind theatrical experience will bring to life the beloved story of Miguel and his family from "Coco" through live music and puppetry.

• Families will be able to join their favorite characters from the beloved Pixar films for a dance party bash.

Dining Filled with Character

• A new, interactive character dining experience hosted by Sheriff Woody, Jesse and Bullseye will kick-start the day with sing-a-longs, cowboy serenades and all the country breakfast fixins.

• Families will enjoy a Pixar-themed dinner with dishes inspired by the Pixar Animation Studios' California locale.

• Guests will immerse themselves in undersea magic while dining in Animator's Palate with visits from some of their favorite "Finding Nemo" friends, including interactive conversations with Crush.

Pixar Day at Sea will be included on nine select Disney Fantasy cruises from January through March 2023. Departing from Port Canaveral, Florida, the Disney Fantasy will sail to several guest-favorite destinations in the eastern and western Caribbean. Eastern Caribbean itineraries feature stops in ports such as Tortola, St. Thomas and San Juan, Puerto Rico, while western Caribbean sailings visit Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman; and Falmouth, Jamaica. Every cruise includes a visit to Disney's private island oasis, Castaway Cay.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 19.74 - 13.99%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 78.73 - 6.44%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.145 - 63.29%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 19.97 - 13.02

Cruise News Trivia Question:
In 1968, the American Export Liner, Independence, was chartered by a promoter who charged separately for food and accommodation. He also gave the ship a distinctive paint job - what was so distinctive about it?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Many people know that Cunard's Queen Elizabeth 2 and P&O's Canberra served as troop ships during the Falkland islands conflict in 1982, but can you name the other former liner that was also pressed into service during the conflict?

Answer - SUGANDA which was used as a hospital ship courtesy of Richard MacGregory, Longmeadow, MA.


Cruise News - January 17, 2022

Viking Announces Float Out of Newest Ocean Ship
Viking today announced its newest ocean ship – the 930-guest Viking Neptune – was "floated out," marking a major construction milestone and the first time the ship has touched water. Set to debut in November 2022, the Viking Neptune will spend her maiden season sailing itineraries in the Mediterranean before embarking on the company's 2023-2024 Viking World Cruise, a journey from Fort Lauderdale to London that spans 138 days, 28 countries and 57 ports, with overnight stays in 11 cities.

"It is always a special day when a new ship meets water for the first time, and we look forward to welcoming guests on board the Viking Neptune this fall. Together with Fincantieri we have built the world's most elegant vessels, which truly allow our guests to explore the world in comfort," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "We are marking several milestones in 2022, including our 25th anniversary and the 10th year since starting our ocean project. With the arrival of the Viking Neptune and her identical sister ship, the Viking Mars, this year—along with the debut of our two new expedition ships and new river ships—we are proud to firmly establish Viking as the leading small ship travel company."

The traditional float out ceremony took place at Fincantieri's Ancona shipyard and is significant because it denotes a ship moving into its final stage of construction. The float out of Viking Neptune began at approximately 11:00 a.m. local time when a member of the Viking team cut a cord that signaled water to begin flowing into the ship's building dock. Following a two-day process that will set Viking Neptune afloat, she will then be moved to a nearby outfitting dock for final construction and interior build-out.

Viking Neptune
Viking's ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, with 465 staterooms that can host 930 guests. Viking Neptune will join the award-winning fleet of identical sister ships, which includes Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Orion, Viking Jupiter and Viking Venus. Viking Mars will be delivered in May 2022; Viking Saturn will be delivered in early 2023.

Carnival Resumes Guest Operations from Charleston with Carnival Sunshine
Continuing its successful restart, Carnival Cruise Line resumed guest operations today from Charleston, S.C., with Carnival Sunshine.

To commemorate the special day, the Carnival Sunshine team greeted their first guests on board with a special welcome conveying their excitement in resuming operations from Charleston. The ship departed today on a four-day cruise to Nassau, Bahamas.

“We have been sailing from Charleston for 12 years, so we are excited to be back offering guests from all over the southeastern U.S. the opportunity to cruise from this beautiful, historic and charming community, all while providing support to the local economy,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Carnival Sunshine is sailing year-round from Charleston, offering a variety of cruises to The Bahamas and the Caribbean.

With 19 ships already in guest operations and its remaining three U.S.-based ships scheduled to resume in March, Carnival continues to implement a rigorous set of public health protocols focused on the health, safety and well-being of its guests, crew and the communities it visits. All Carnival voyages are vaccinated cruises, all guests must show proof of a negative COVID test taken within 48 hours of boarding, masks are worn by all guests and crew in virtually all venues of the ship, as well as other enhanced health and safety measures that can be found on its Have Fun. Be Safe. page on Carnival.com.

Genting Hong Kong Files to Shut Down, Dream Cruises Will Continue
Cruise operator Genting Hong Kong has filed to close down its business as it runs out of cash as of January 2022. However its operations of cruise lines by Dream Cruises Holding will continue.

In an announcement uploaded onto HKEXnews, Genting Hong Kong said it had exhausted all reasonable efforts to negotiate with relevant counterparties under its financing arrangements. However, it failed to reach an agreement with various creditors and other stakeholders. As a result, Genting Hong Kong had no access to any further liquidity under any of the group’s debt documents.

The company is expected to run out of cash by the end of January 2022 at the latest, according to its cash flow forecasts, as it needs to pay ongoing operational expenditure and potentially required payments of certain liabilities that are expected to be made. Looking ahead, the board of Genting Hong Kong believed that the company will imminently be unable to pay its debts as they fall due.

Genting Hong Kong filed at the Supreme Court of Bermuda on 18 January a summons to seek the appointment of joint provisional liquidators to develop and propose any restructuring proposal in respect of the company’s debts and liabilities.

The board of the company believed that the appointment of the joint provisional liquidators was essential and in the interests of the company, its shareholders and its creditors in order to maximise the chance of success of the financial restructuring.

Meanwhile, its brand Dream Cruises will be among some of Genting Hong Kong's business activities that will continue to operate as part of its effort to "to preserve and protect the core assets and maintain the value." However, the company added that the majority of its existing operations will cease to operate.

American Cruise Lines Announces Plans to Build 12 New Ships
American Cruise Lines announced this week details of Project Blue—a plan to bring a brand new fleet of go-anywhere ships for the U.S. market. The company announced plans for 12 identical sister ships that will more than double the nation’s current capacity for domestic coastal cruises. Featuring an innovative hybrid catamaran design, these distinct boats will have unprecedented near-shore operating versatility.

The new U.S. built fleet will operate exclusively in the United States, with a focus on small towns and close-to-home adventures. Charles B. Robertson, President & CEO of American Cruise Lines, said: “Project Blue started as a design challenge to create a boat small enough for New England harbors and stable enough for the Alaska Inside Passage, with a draft shallow enough for the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. These boats can run almost anywhere, and because there will be 12 of them, they will be deployed all over the United States.”

American’s unprecedented Project Blue expansion further reinforces the growing interest in small ship experiences and personalized cruising. Like all of American’s new ships, the entire Project Blue fleet will be built by Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, MD. The first two Project Blue ships are already under construction and are due for delivery in 2023.

Each boat in the Project Blue fleet will accommodate 109 passengers and 50 crew. They will be 241 feet long, 56 feet wide, and feature the hybrid catamaran design that enables both shallow draft access and stable sailing along lakes, rivers, bays, and America’s coastline. Their go-anywhere agility combines the adventure of an expedition with the luxury of the finest river cruises.

“Together with Chesapeake Shipbuilding, we built the first modern riverboats in the country. Now we are proud to introduce another new ship design for domestic exploration. American has specialized in small ship cruising for over 30 years, and continuing to innovate and expand the possibilities for cruising close to home is central to our mission,” Robertson elaborated.

The new fleet will feature elegant modern décor by Studio DADO of Miami, FL. Each ship will offer 56 spacious staterooms—including a range of large standards, suites, and singles—nearly all with private balconies. Observation and sitting areas will be available at the bow, both inside and outside, and each ship will showcase an expansive forward lounge with 270 degree views. At the stern, the ships will have a new adventure deck equipped with kayaks, tender, and other activity related options relevant to the itinerary. American’s new go-anywhere ships will also feature two dining venues, as well as room service, a rarity for small ships of this size.

The first two ships will debut along East Coast itineraries and will be named American Eagle and American Glory—namesakes of the company’s first two small U.S.-built ships. American Cruise Lines has been introducing 100% U.S.-built, crewed, and registered ships for over 30 years, and the comp

Cunard Announces Over 150 New Voyages in 2023
Cunard this week unveiled over 150 new international voyages sailing on its three Queens between April 23 and December 15, 2023.

Across the new itineraries, the iconic fleet of Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, will call at 120 unique ports in 35 countries, with 23 late evening departures and 15 overnight stays with voyages between two nights and 37 nights in duration.

Queen Mary 2, the world's only ocean liner, will sail a program of 18 Transatlantic Crossings, with departures from both Southampton and New York. In addition, a Mediterranean season from Barcelona, a series of 10-night roundtrips in Alaska, an Independence Day sailing calling in Boston, a 16-night Baltics voyage with an overnight call in St Petersburg, and a 14-night Canada and New England voyage offering three full days in Quebec are just some of the highlights.

"We're excited to share our 2023 voyage program, with which our guests can rediscover the joy of exploration, visiting long-dreamed of destinations," said Jamie Paiko, Vice President, Sales, Cunard, North America. "Our signature ocean travel experience and White Star Service provide the perfect setting to escape, unwind and feel special."

Key Itineraries of The World Awaits Voyage Program include:

Transatlantic Crossing, New England and Canada (M329H)
Sailing roundtrip from Southampton, you'll travel to New York via Transatlantic Crossing, before embarking on an exploration of New England and Canada that includes three days in Quebec. Queen Mary 2 departs Southampton September 22, 2023. Inside staterooms from $5,199 per person.

Alaska (Q320)
Guests will be charmed by Ketchikan's colourful totem poles, as they keep a watchful eye for humpback whales, and absorb the splendour of skyscraper-tall glaciers, on a voyage to Alaska's icy fjords. Queen Elizabeth departs Vancouver June 8, 2023.

Mediterranean Highlights (M316)
Pisa's UNESCO World Heritage listed leaning tower, the Sistine Chapel in Rome, and Gaudi's architectural legacy, the Sagrada Familia, are all within reach on this 14-night voyage sailing from Southampton. Queen Mary 2 departs Southampton June 9, 2023.

Western Mediterranean (Q330B)v The sparking azure waters of the French Riviera, Pisa's UNESCO-listed leaning tower and Ibiza's captivating old town, Dalt Vila, await discovery on this 7-night Mediterranean voyage from Barcelona. Queen Elizabeth departs Barcelona September 25, 2023.

The Canary Islands (V312)
The volcanic terrain of Tenerife's Teide National Park and Sintra's Moorish palaces (tours from Lisbon) are among the UNESCO World Heritage sites awaiting discovery on this 12-night voyage of Spain and Portugal. Queen Victoria departs Southampton April 27, 2023.

North Cape Discovery (V315)
Immerse in a land of forest and water, where ancient wooden houses decorate the streets, waterfalls spill from verdant gullies, and soaring mountains reflect in mirror-like fjords. Queen Victoria departs Southampton June 6, 2023.

Whether seeking the tropical warmth of sandy beaches, the unparalleled beauty of icy frontiers, or the allure of cities steeped in history, the world awaits with Cunard.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 22.95 + 7.24%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 84.15 + 5.29%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.365 - 45.89%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 22.95 + 5.77%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Many people know that Cunard's Queen Elizabeth 2 and P&O's Canberra served as troop ships during the Falkland islands conflict in 1982, but can you name the other former liner that was also pressed into service during the conflict?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which liner featured a lounge called the "Boat 'n' Bottle Bar"?

Answer - S.S.CONSTITUTION, American Export Line courtesy of Paul Williams, Miami, FL


Cruise News - January 10, 2022

Norwegian Cruise Line Introduces Norwegian Viva
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) today unveiled Norwegian Viva, the next ship in its brand-new Prima Class.

Providing guests with elevated experiences including more wide-open spaces, thoughtful and stunning design and exceptional service, Norwegian Viva will begin sailing remarkable Mediterranean itineraries in June 2023, homeporting in key Southern European port cities including Lisbon, Portugal; Venice (Trieste) and Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; and Athens (Piraeus), Greece. She will then sail the Southern Caribbean for her 2023-2024 Winter Season offering warm-weather getaways from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Mirroring the upscale design and structure of her record-breaking sister ship Norwegian Prima, Norwegian Viva, also built by renowned Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri in Marghera, Italy, will debut at 965 feet long, 142,500 gross tons and accommodate 3,219 guests at double occupancy. Travelers will live up every second of their journey in the most spacious accommodations including the brand's largest inside, ocean view and balcony category staterooms.

The world-class vessel will not only offer the highest staffing levels and space ratio of any new cruise ship in the contemporary and premium cruise categories and largest variety of suite categories available at sea, but will also boast a redefined The Haven by Norwegian, NCL's ultra-premium keycard only access ship-within-a-ship concept. The Haven's public areas and 107 suites designed by Piero Lissoni, one of Italy's most renowned designers, will feature an expansive sundeck, a stunning infinity pool overlooking the ship's wake and an outdoor spa with a glass-walled sauna and cold room.

The Prima Class' variety of recreational activities also make their elevated comeback on Norwegian Viva with only-available-on-Prima-Class experiences including the fastest freefall drop dry slides at sea with The Rush and The Drop and the largest three-level racetrack at sea with the Viva Speedway.

Norwegian Viva will feature Ocean Boulevard, the 44,000 square foot outdoor walk way which wraps around the entire ship; Indulge Food Hall featuring 11 varieties of eateries; The Concourse boasting an outdoor sculpture garden; expansive pool decks and infinity style pools at Infinity Beach and Oceanwalk, showcasing glass bridges above water.

Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line, said: "Norwegian Viva sets the standard in the premium segment, illustrating our commitment to pushing boundaries in four main areas: wide open space, service that puts guests first, thoughtful design and experiences beyond expectation. We have taken everything our guests love to the next level with this brand-new class of ships designed with them in mind."

Norwegian Viva will boast eye-catching hull art designed by Italian graffiti and sculpture artist Manuel Di Rita, commonly known as "Peeta," who also illustrated the exceptional hull design on Norwegian Prima. World-class architects who helped design Norwegian Prima including Rockwell Group, SMC Design and Miami-based Studio Dado, also have returned to influence the aesthetic of various restaurants, staterooms and public areas.

"Norwegian Viva, the second of six Prima Class vessels being built with us, reinforces the great collaboration between Norwegian Cruise Line and Fincantieri," said Luigi Matarazzo, General Manager Merchant Ships Division at Fincantieri. "We were extremely satisfied that Norwegian Prima, the first of the new class, earned record-breaking bookings and we are excited to see how Norwegian Viva will live up to her sister ship. As we proved our resilience during these challenging times, this announcement represents another testament to Fincantieri´s global leadership role in the cruise sector."

The first two Prima Class vessels, Norwegian Prima and Norwegian Viva, will feature cutting-edge alternative technologies, such as a NOx reduction system (SCR), that reduce the ship's overall environmental impact. SCR catalysts filter out sulfur oxides up to 98% and nitrogen oxides up to 90%, ensuring the vessels meet Tier III NOx compliance. Further, they will be equipped with an Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (EGCS), an Advanced Wastewater Treatment System to treat and clean all wastewater to meet stringent international standards and Cold Ironing functionality to connect to onshore power grids to further reduce emissions while in port.

Summer 2023: Mediterranean from Rome, Athens, and Lisbon vFollowing a string of inaugural cruises and beginning June 2023, Norwegian Viva will be the newest ship embarking in the Mediterranean. From June 15, 2023 to Nov. 6, 2023, she will sail a series of eight, nine and ten-day voyages from Lisbon, Portugal; Venice (Trieste) and Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; and Athens (Piraeus), Greece, offering guests the opportunity to explore the Mediterranean's Spanish, Italian and Greek regions.

Winter 2023-2024: Southern Caribbean from San Juan

Norwegian Viva will become the largest new ship to ever homeport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. On Dec. 15, she will depart San Juan on a seven-day Caribbean voyage with her first stop in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. She will then make her way to Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; St. John's, Antigua; and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands for her last stop before returning to San Juan on Dec. 22. Future sailings will also include notable ports in the Caribbean for seven- and nine-day sailings.

Royal Caribbean Announces 2023 European Summer Lineup
Royal Caribbean International revealed the 2023 European summer lineup of nine award-winning ships that will visit landmark destinations in more than 25 countries, from the Amalfi Coast to the Holy Land, plus the Adriatic islands of Croatia, British Isles, Canary Islands and Greek Isles. Beginning in May 2023, vacationers of all ages can experience the region’s timeless beauty on a variety of cruises that range from five to 12 nights and visit iconic locales, from Reykjavik, Iceland, to Tel Aviv, Israel, and everything in between. The cruise line’s new summer 2023 Europe cruises are now open.

Travelers with their sights on Europe can choose from 35 unique itineraries and a diverse set of ships, a matchup that makes for memories galore. Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas in Rome, following up its 2021 debut, and Anthem of the Seas in Southampton, England, are two returning favorites set to offer the whole family a combination of signature features and standout experiences. Highlights include Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade and bumper cars in SeaPlex, the largest indoor and outdoor activity complex at sea, North Star – the highest viewing deck on a cruise ship – and the gravity-defying skydiving simulator, RipCord by iFly. From Rome and Barcelona, Spain, Oasis Class ship Symphony of the Seas will bring all types of vacationers together with thrilling experiences across seven distinct neighborhoods only found on Royal Caribbean, like the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea; famed Broadway shows and original productions across ice, water, stage and air; and more than 20 different restaurants, bars and lounges.

Itinerary Highlights

• Odyssey of the Seas – Cruising from: Rome
Headlining the European summer lineup is one of Royal Caribbean’s newest additions, Odyssey, returning for an encore after its first summer in the region in 2022. Vacationers have a choice of 7- to 9-night cruises from Rome to Naples, Italy; the idyllic Greek Isles and Turkey, as well as 12-night Holy Land sailings to the historic, bustling cities of Limassol, Cyprus; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; and Jerusalem, Israel. From the iconic whitewashed homes of Santorini, Greece, to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – a world from centuries past is within reach.

• Symphony of the Seas – Cruising from: Barcelona and Rome
One of Time’s World’s Greatest Places in 2018 and Royal Caribbean’s renowned Oasis Class ships, Symphony heads to the Western Mediterranean. Travelers can set course on 7-night cruises, from Barcelona or Rome, to bucket list destinations like Naples, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and Provence, France. Whether exploring 14th-century castles and cathedrals in Mallorca or marveling at the Duomo in Florence, Italy, travelers can expect days filled with rich culture and history.

• Serenade of the Seas – Cruising from: Barcelona
Serenade will call the warm shores of Barcelona home and sail 8-night itineraries to the Western Mediterranean, 12-night cruises to the Greek Isles and 5-night sailings to Italy and France. Beaches and beats await in Ibiza, Spain, home to a legendary electronic music scene, while the Cote d’Azur offers a glamorous getaway in iconic Cannes, France. Explorer of the Seas – Cruising from: Venice (Ravenna), Italy New to Ravenna, Italy, Explorer will explore the Aegean Sea and visit Olympia, Greece – the birthplace of the Olympic Games – for the first time, among several picturesque destinations. The 7-night cruises will sail to the Greek Isles and beyond to Adriatic and Mediterranean gems such as Kotor, Montenegro, and Chania, Crete.

• Brilliance of the Seas – Cruising from: Rome and Venice (Ravenna), Athens, Greece; and Barcelona
Sailing open-jaw itineraries from Italy, Greece and Spain, Brilliance will offer vacationers a choice of four epic European cities to start and complete their adventures in the Western Mediterranean, Greek Isles and Adriatic Sea. The 7-night cruises will sail from Rome to Athens, Greece; Athens to Venice; Venice to Barcelona; and Barcelona to Rome. Bucket list-worthy sites like the Diocletian’s Palace in Split, Croatia, St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice and Praetorian Palace in Koper, Slovenia – a new destination for Brilliance – are just a few of the top spots awaiting travelers.

• Rhapsody of the Seas – Cruising from: Haifa, Israel, and Limassol, Cyprus
Rhapsody will be the first Royal Caribbean ship to sail from Limassol and Haifa, Israel, all in one season. The new summer combination consists of 7-night sailings to ports of call in Turkey, Israel and Greece, including first-time destinations for the cruise line, like Skiathos and Thessaloniki, Greece. Starting in September, the ship will take off on short 4- and 5-night getaways from Haifa and visit Cyprus and the Greek Isles.

• Anthem of the Seas – Cruising from: Southampton, England
A returning favorite, Anthem will call Southampton, England, home for the third consecutive year. Adventure seekers can have their choice of 7-night adventures to Spain and France, or the Norwegian Fjords. They can visit destinations new to Anthem, including Maloy and Haugesund, Norway, and Cork, Ireland. Longer, 11- and 12-night vacations will go further to places such as Lisbon, Portugal; Vigo, Spain; and the Canary Islands. Between sampling lutefisk in Stavanger, Norway, and shopping for locally made goods in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, there are culture-rich experiences and outdoor explorations in store.

• Voyager of the Seas – Cruising from: Copenhagen, Denmark, and Stockholm
Voyager returns to Northern Europe, sailing from Copenhagen, Denmark, and Stockholm to offer a mix of 7- to 11-night itineraries around Scandinavian countries, Estonia and Russia. There will be stunning sites to behold, like the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Suomenlinna fortress in Helsinki, Finland, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the country’s most popular landmarks. Guests looking for a longer vacation can cruise from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Copenhagen on a 14-night sailing that features an overnight in Bermuda and visits to St. Thomas, France and Belgium.

• Jewel of the Seas – Cruising from: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
All summer, Jewel will cruise roundtrip from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, welcoming travelers on 12-night sailings to the Arctic Circle, the British Isles, Iceland and Ireland. Picturesque destinations, including the Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik and the White Cliffs of Dover in England, will be just a night’s rest away.

Royal Caribbean Sets Sights On Cyprus Fo Consecutive Summer Seasons
Following a successful summer sailing from Limassol, Cyprus, Royal Caribbean International has announced two more seasons of cruising from Cyprus are on the horizon. In 2022 and 2023, Rhapsody of the Seas will call Cyprus home for the first time and welcome holidaymakers of all ages to set course for adventure and must-see destinations, such as the Greek Isles, Greece, Israel, Egypt and Turkey. Royal Caribbean’s new 2022 and 2023 cruises from Limassol are now open.

Adventurers can choose from a lineup of 7-night Greek Isles cruises that sail roundtrip from Limassol in August and September 2022. From island-hopping to exploring ruins of centuries past, guests will take in the stunning Greek Isles of Rhodes and Santorini and the vibrant, culture-rich cities of Athens, Greece, and Haifa, Israel. The unparalleled summer holiday that combines memorable experiences with convenience and much more for Cypriot holidaymakers and their families will also offer experiences tailored for the local region. These include unique dining and beverage menus, live music and a Greek version of Royal Caribbean’s daily activity planner, the Cruise Compass.

In May-August 2023, Rhapsody will return to the city to set sail on new 7-night Israel and Egypt cruises as well as Greece and Turkey itineraries. Then the stunning Vision Class ship will head to Haifa until early November 2023, sailing a mix of 2- to 7-night itineraries to Greece, the Greek Isles and Cyprus.

Continuing the cruise line’s commitment to growing its presence in the region, 2022 will also see new ways for Cypriot holidaymakers to book their Royal Caribbean getaway. Cruises departing from Limassol will be exclusively available through the following travel companies that are experts in the local market:

• Top Kinisis Travel

• Let’s Go Tours by Amathus

• Century Travel

• Louis Travel

The cruise line will also continue working with existing partner Navigator Travel & Tourist Services Ltd.

Ben Bouldin, vice president of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Royal Caribbean International comments: “Cyprus is a key and growing market for Royal Caribbean and presents the perfect gateway for our guests to explore the eastern Mediterranean. We look forward to returning to this beautiful island for the next two consecutive summers and welcoming more Cypriot guests on board. I have no doubt that with the ongoing support from the Cyprus Ministry of Tourism and our new sales representatives we are in an excellent position to grow in Cyprus and continue to offer memorable holidays in the region.”

Savvas Perdios, Deputy Minister of Tourism Cyprus comments, “It has been an honour to host Royal Caribbean in 2021, which was another challenging year for global tourism. We are proud of what has been achieved by both sides and delighted that our collaboration will be enhanced further in 2022 and 2023!”

While sailing from one iconic destination to the next on board Rhapsody, guests can relax and recharge in the Vitality Spa and Fitness Center, pamper themselves in the beauty salon and find their zen in the adults-only Solarium. The two pools and six whirlpools are also the perfect places to cool down after a day of exploring. And holidaymakers looking for even more adventure can go to new heights for endless ocean views by scaling the signature 40-foot-tall rock climbing wall.

Younger guests can enjoy Royal Caribbean’s award-winning kids’ program at Adventure Ocean before catching a film on the outdoor movie screen and under the stars with the whole family. Hunger pangs will be kept at bay, thanks to a varied combination of complimentary and speciality restaurants, including all-time favourites Izumi, serving up fresh sushi and sashimi; Chops Grille, an American steakhouse, and Giovanni’s Table, for Italian classics.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 21.40 - 0.05%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 79.92 - 1.13%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.73 - 10.98%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 21.71 - 2.12%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Many people know that Cunard's Queen Elizabeth 2 and P&O's Canberra served as troop ships during the Falkland islands conflict in 1982, but can you name the other former liner that was also pressed into service during the conflict?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which liner featured a lounge called the "Boat 'n' Bottle Bar"?

Answer - S.S.CONSTITUTION, American Export Line courtesy of Paul Williams, Miami, FL


Cruise News - January 3, 2022

Norwegian Cancels Cruises Due to COVID
In a travel advisor posted on the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) website, NCL announded that several upcoming cruises have been cancelled.

In a letter posted online, NCL said that “Today, we identified several COVID-19 positive cases within our crew." It went on to remind that all guests and crew members are vaccinated, adding that “most” of those who’d tested positive were asymptomatic and all were being monitored by the ship’s medical team.

The advisory noted, that "The health and safety of our guests, crew and communities we visit is our number one priority. Therefore, a limited number of sailings across our fleet have been affected."

The following cruises have been cancelled:

• Norwegian Pearl cruises with embarkation dates through and including January 14, 2022

• Norwegian Sky cruises with embarkation dates through and including February 25,2022

• Pride of America cruises with embarkation dates through and including February 26, 2022

• Norwegian Jade cruises with embarkation dates through and including March 3, 2022

• Norwegian Star cruises with embarkation dates through and including March 19, 2022

• Norwegian Sun cruises with embarkation dates through and including April 19, 2022

• Norwegian Spirit cruises with embarkation dates through and including April 23, 2022

NCL said that if you have an active reservation one of the affected cruises above, you will automatically receive a refund of your cruise fare in the original form of payment for the amount paid. Additionally, a 10% off Future Cruise Credit will be automatically added to the guest's account as of January 7, 2022. This discount can be used to make a booking from January 7, 2022 through January 7, 2023 and can be applied towards any sailings through May 31, 2023.

*Should the guest already have a 10% off discount FCC from a previous suspension and have not yet applied that discount FCC to a new reservation, an additional FCC discount will not be issued.

**If this suspended reservation used a previously issued 10% off discount FCC, the 10% off FCC will be returned to your client profile. An additional FCC discount will not be issued.

For affected reservations paid via a previously issued Future Cruise Credit, please know the full value of the FCC used will be re-applied to your Latitudes account within 7 days. This is done automatically, so no further action is required on your or your travel advisor’s part. Learn more about booking a cruise with your FCCs here.

CLIA Statement Regarding CDC Elevating to Level 4 Warning Against Cruise Travel
In a statement released today, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said that the decision by the CDC to raise the travel level for cruise is particularly perplexing considering that cases identified on cruise ships consistently make up a very slim minority of the total population onboard—far fewer than on land—and the majority of those cases are asymptomatic or mild in nature, posing little to no burden on medical resources onboard or onshore. No setting can be immune from this virus—however, it is also the case that cruise provides one of the highest levels of demonstrated mitigation against the virus. Cruise ships offer a highly controlled environment with science-backed measures, known testing and vaccination levels far above other venues or modes of transportation and travel, and significantly lower incidence rates than land.

CLIA said that while we are disappointed and disagree with the decision to single out the cruise industry—an industry that continues to go above and beyond compared to other sectors—CLIA and our ocean-going cruise line members remain committed to working collaboratively with the CDC in the interest of public health and safety.

Additional Information:

• Cruise industry protocols are unique in their approach to effectively monitor, detect, and respond to potential cases of COVID-19.

• Protocols encompass the entirety of the cruise experience, incorporating testing, vaccination, screening, sanitation, mask-wearing and other science-backed measures.

• Many of our members have announced additional measures in response to the Omicron variant, including strengthening testing, masking and other requirements, as well as encouraging booster vaccine doses for those eligible.

• Over 100 cruise ships have returned to U.S. waters, carrying nearly more than one million people from a U.S. port since late June 2021.

• The cruise industry is the only industry in the U.S. travel and tourism sector that is requiring both vaccinations and testing for crew and guests.

• Vaccination rates onboard a cruise ship are upwards of 95 percent—significantly higher than the overall U.S. population which is hovering at 62 percent.

• In the U.S. alone, the cruise industry administers nearly 10 million tests per week—21x the rate of testing in the United States.

• The latest data show that, even with higher rates of testing, the cruise industry continues to achieve significantly lower rates of occurrence of COVID-19—33 percent lower than onshore.

• According to the CDC's color-coding system, a cruise ship may be determined to be "yellow" – and, therefore, subject to CDC observation – if a threshold of 0.10 percent or more passengers (i.e., 7 out of 6,500) have tested positive in the last seven days, or if even just one crewmember tests positive.

Royal Caribbean Group provides update on COVID-19, Omicron variant impact
Today, Royal Caribbean Group provided an update on the status of its business and the impact of the Omicron variant.

Knowledge about COVID-19 and how to deal with it have been in a constant state of flux for the last two years. Omicron has significantly altered the COVID-19 landscape for everyone, and the Royal Caribbean Group is no exception.

As widely reported, the Omicron variant is significantly more infectious than its predecessors and has already become the dominant form of COVID-19 in the U.S. and elsewhere. Fortunately, Omicron also appears to cause significantly less severe symptoms than earlier variants, especially for people who are vaccinated. Cruising remains one of the few places one can vacation knowing that almost everyone you meet is fully vaccinated.

The recent experience on Royal Caribbean Group ships is consistent with these observations. The numbers indicate an increase in people testing positive without a corresponding increase in people becoming ill. Since cruising restarted in the U.S. in June 2021, the Royal Caribbean Group has carried 1.1 million guests with 1,745 people testing positive – a positivity rate of 0.162%. Furthermore, the vast majority of those cases had no symptoms or only mild symptoms, with only 41 people needing hospitalization. None of the Omicron cases have been severe or needed to be taken to a hospital. These figures are a result of almost everyone onboard having been vaccinated and having a negative test before boarding.

"Omicron is having a big short-term impact on everyone, but many observers see this as a major step towards COVID-19 becoming endemic rather than epidemic," said Richard Fain, Chairman & CEO. "We don't like to see even one case, but our experience is a fraction of the comparable statistics of virtually any other comparable location or industry. Few businesses are subject to such intense scrutiny, regulation, and disclosure requirements by so many authorities, and we welcome that scrutiny because of our commitment to safety. We intend to maintain our goal of delivering the safest vacation on land or sea and will constantly adjust our procedures to accomplish this even in the face of Omicron's amazing transmissibility."

Royal Caribbean Group's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Calvin Johnson emphasizes: "The company is navigating through the ever-evolving information on the Omicron variant. Our case count has spiked, but the level of severity is significantly milder. We will remain nimble and in constant contact with health authorities. For example, even before Omicron, we have been giving all our crewmembers booster shots as they became eligible."

Following a very strong Cyber weekend, the company experienced a decline in bookings and increased cancellations for near-term sailings but to a lesser degree than that experienced with the Delta variant. Load factors for sailings in the first half of 2022 remain below historical levels, as expected. However, sailings for the second half of 2022 continue to be booked within historical ranges, at higher prices with and without Future Cruise Credits (FCCs), with strong demand from the critical U.S. market.

The travel industry is experiencing significant disruptions by air transport and other service providers due to the spread of Omicron. Such disruptions are particularly impactful during the holiday season as the need increases and the labor supply is impacted by the current spike in cases. Similar issues are impacting the company's onboard service capabilities. In addition, the company is experiencing service disruptions at selected destinations and to date has cancelled or significantly modified 16 destination calls out of 331. The company expects these disruptions to continue in the near term and then decline as the world adjusts to the current trends.

Fain concluded, "We are constantly learning and adjusting as Omicron appears to be ushering in a new phase in the fight against COVID-19. We expect these factors to have a negative impact in the short term but are optimistic they will lead us to a more pervasive but less severe health environment. Taken together, this should enable us to produce a strong transitional year in 2022 and a very strong 2023."

Carnival Introduces ‘Funderstruck,’ New Marketing Campaign
Carnival Cruise Line will launch a new marketing campaign, “Funderstruck,” that invites people to choose fun again by booking and taking a vacation with America’s cruise line.

Built upon Carnival’s brand platform Choose Fun, the company introduces an entirely new word – Funderstruck – to describe the unmistakable feeling uniquely experienced when choosing fun on Carnival. Funderstruck will celebrate what travelers want right now and something that Carnival is precision engineered to deliver – unapologetic fun together with those you enjoy spending time with the most.

Carnival will introduce Funderstruck first through CRM and owned social followed by a series of back-to-back campaign activations during two pivotal Holiday cultural moments. The first Funderstruck spots will air on ESPN and ABC during the NBA on Christmas Day games, in addition to game and pre-game sponsorships. Funderstruck will then be featured prominently with Carnival sponsoring the iconic Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration, through a robust collaboration with ABC and the New York Times Square Alliance.

Carnival is finishing the year with a very successful restart of its guest operations, following an industry-wide, 16-month pause in the U.S. Carnival has returned 19 of its 22 U.S-based ships – including its newest ship, Mardi Gras, as it solidifies its position as America’s Cruise Line sailing the most guests of any cruise line. Looking to 2022, its entire U.S. fleet and all ten of its year-round home ports will be back to full guest operations in March, in time for the cruise line’s 50th birthday. Carnival will also take delivery of two more ships in 2022 as it grows its guest capacity to more than pre-pandemic levels.

The integrated campaign coincides with the cruise industry’s 2022 wave season, which is the annual kick-off to cruise planning for millions of Americans and travel advisors. In addition to the Christmas and NYE integrations, the Funderstruck message will be used across all Carnival owned channels, OOH placements in key port and feeder markets, :15 and :30 National TV commercials, and digitally led efforts highlighted by streaming video, streaming audio, podcasts, unique high impact display and video efforts, and social presence across TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook.

To experience what it feels like to be Funderstruck, click here.

In several spots, guests enjoy the many Funderstruck experiences that Carnival has to offer, from riding BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, to simply enjoying a delicious chocolate ice cream, most notably with other passengers who share an unabashed sense of euphoria and delight in being together again.

“Funderstruck is the unmistakable feeling when you choose fun on Carnival, and the kind of joyful experience essential to people’s health and happiness,” said Pete Callaro, senior vice president of brand and product marketing for Carnival Cruise Line. “Carnival cruises are the perfect vacation to enjoy with those you’ve missed having fun with over the past year.”

The campaign, created by Anomaly, is an extension of the brand’s Choose Fun campaign that launched in 2018. All paid media and integration elements were created by Initiative and supported by the public relations consultancy LDWW.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 21.41 + 2.20%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 80.83 + 3.02%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.82 + 4.69%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 22.18 + 0.18%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which liner featured a lounge called the "Boat 'n' Bottle Bar"?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
October 25, 1986 was the end of an era for Cunard Line. What was the significance of that date?

Answer - QE2's last sailing under steam power prior to her being re-engined as a motor ship. courtesy of Richard MacGregory


Cruise News - December 27, 2021

Viking Takes Delivery of Viking Octantis
Viking today announced it has taken delivery of Viking Octantis, the company's first of two new purpose-built expedition ships. The delivery ceremony took place this morning at Fincantieri's VARD shipyard in Søviknes, Norway. Viking Octantis hosts 378 guests and sets sail tomorrow toward South America to welcome guests in January 2022 for Viking's first voyages to Antarctica. Viking Octantis will be officially named in April 2022 in New York City by her ceremonial godmother, Liv Arnesen, the famed explorer and educator. The ship then makes her way to the Great Lakes, for a series of voyages during spring and summer. A second, identical sister ship, Viking Polaris, joins the fleet in August 2022 for journeys to the Arctic and Antarctica.

"Today is a proud day for the entire Viking family as we welcome our first expedition ship to the fleet and usher in a new era of exploration. Our guests have asked us to build on our award-winning river and ocean voyages to take them further, and that is just what we have done," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "Leveraging our long history of destination-focused travel, enrichment and innovative ship design, we are now perfecting expedition voyages and offering curious travelers the opportunity to visit the world's most pristine destinations in the most responsible way possible. With the arrival of Viking Octantis, Viking is now exploring all seven continents, and we look forward to welcoming her first guests on board in the coming weeks."

Viking's new expedition ships were designed by Richard Riviere, Founding Principal of internationally acclaimed interior design firm Rottet Studio of Los Angeles, who also designed Viking's award-winning Longships and ocean ships. SMC Design of London contributed with their expertise in the maritime sector. Together the two firms were recently awarded "Design Studio Team of the Year" in the 2021 Cruise Ship Interior Awards for their work on Viking's expedition ships. More detail on the design and features of the ships can also be found in a new virtual video tour, Discover Our Expedition Ships, now available on Viking's website and narrated by Viking Executive Vice President Karine Hagen.

Viking Expedition Ships

The new Polar Class Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris host 378 guests in 189 staterooms. Designed by the same experienced interior designers, nautical architects and engineers that designed Viking's Longships and ocean ships, the new ships are purpose-built for expeditions, at an ideal size for safety, comfort and onboard amenities in remote destinations. An integrated bow creates a longer waterline for the ships; state-of-the-art fin stabilizers allow the ships to glide over the waves for the calmest possible journey; ice-strengthened Polar Class hulls provide the safest way to explore; and U-tank stabilizers significantly decrease rolling by up to 50 percent when the ships are stationary. The new ships feature the company's signature Scandinavian design, with public areas that are favorites on Viking's ocean ships, as well as new spaces created specifically for expeditions. Highlights include:

• The Hangar: An industry first, The Hangar is an enclosed, in-ship marina that brings true comfort to expedition voyages with an innovative new way to embark and disembark excursion craft. The Hangar's most innovative feature is an 85 ft. slipway that allows guests to embark and disembark excursion craft from a flat, stable surface inside the ship, shielded from wind and waves. There is also a FerryBox, a set of instruments continuously collecting and displaying data on water quality, oxygen content, plankton composition and more.

• The Science Lab: Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris are the first expedition ships with substantial onboard laboratories. Developed in partnership with the University of Cambridge and Akvaplan-Niva, The Science Lab, at 380 sq. ft., is designed to support a broad range of research activities and is equipped with wet and dry laboratory facilities, a sample processing area, fume cupboard, freezer and cool storage, comprehensive microscope optics and extensive bench space for analysis-specific instruments. Guests have supervised access to The Science Lab, which is located in a glass-enclosed mezzanine above The Hangar, to learn from and participate with scientists undertaking primary research, an experience unique to Viking.

• Expedition Equipment: Viking will offer a variety of ways for guests to experience their destination, according to their interests and activity level, at no extra charge. With a robust program of complimentary experiences, expedition equipment available for guests on Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris includes a fleet of military pro zodiacs designed for professional use; a fleet of two-seater Arctic-tested kayaks; and two 12-seater convertible Special Operations Boats. Each ship also features two six-guest submarines with revolving seats and 270-degree spherical windows for an incomparable undersea experience. Everything guests need will be provided: a Viking Expedition Kit contains items like boots, binoculars and waterproof pants—and all guests will receive complimentary use of Viking Excursion Gear, which includes specialty items like trekking poles, snowshoes and skis.

• The Aula & Finse Terrace: The world's most advanced venue for learning at sea, The Aula, is a stunning panoramic auditorium at the stern of the ship. Inspired by the University of Oslo's famed ceremonial hall where the Nobel Peace Prize was historically awarded, The Aula is a dynamic venue for lectures and entertainment, with floor-to-ceiling windows and 270-degree views. Adjacent to The Aula is the Finse Terrace, an outdoor lounge area just above sea level with recessed couches and warming lava rock "firepits" – perfect for panoramic views of the surroundings.

• Nordic Balcony: A first for polar expedition vessels, all staterooms on board Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris feature a Nordic Balcony, a sunroom that converts into an al fresco viewing platform. The Nordic Balcony's floor-to-ceiling, distortion-free glass lets guests take the views in, while keeping the elements out. Should guests wish to feel even closer to nature, the top of the panoramic glass lowers to transform the stateroom into a sheltered lookout, with an observation shelf at elbow level to stabilize binoculars or a camera. Guests can choose from six stateroom categories that range from 222 sq. ft to 1,223 sq. ft: Nordic Balcony, Deluxe Nordic Balcony, Nordic Penthouse, Nordic Junior Suite, Explorer Suite and Owner's Suite. All staterooms feature a Nordic Balcony, as well as a king-size bed and large bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and anti-fog mirror. Every stateroom is also equipped with a unique floor-to-ceiling drying closet that circulates warm air to dry and store clothing and expedition gear.

• Expedition Ship Suites: Nordic Junior Suites (322 sq. ft.) and Explorer Suites (580 sq. ft) on Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris are similar to those on Viking's fleet of ocean ships, with wood detailing and amenities that include additional storage and seating, an expanded bathroom with extended shower and double sinks, welcome champagne, a fully-stocked mini-bar replenished daily, complimentary laundry and shoeshine services, priority restaurant reservations and more. Explorer Suites feature two separate rooms, a Nordic Balcony and a full outdoor veranda. Additionally, each ship features one Owner's Suite, which at 1,223 sq. ft, is twice the size of the Explorer Suites. With the most exclusive accommodations and amenities on board, it features two separate rooms – a living room with six-seat dining table and a bedroom – as well as a 792 sq. ft. private garden with a traditional Norwegian badestamp (wood-sided hot tub) and outdoor dining table.

• Aquavit Terrace & The Pools: Located at the stern and featuring a retractable glass dome, this indoor-outdoor heated sanctuary allows guests to be surrounded by their destination as they swim and lounge in three different temperature-controlled pools, including an "inside-out" swimming experience.

• The Nordic Spa & Fitness Center: In keeping with Viking's Nordic heritage, The Nordic Spa on board is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind – with a thermal suite that features a Sauna, Snow Grotto and chaise lounges, as well as a warm hydrotherapy pool and a traditional Norwegian badestamp (wood-sided hot tub), surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows. A state-of-the-art Fitness Center also provides the latest equipment and workout gear.

• Explorers' Lounge: Similar to Viking's ocean ships, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris have a two-deck Explorers' Lounge at the bow of the ship to take in the stunning scenery through double-height windows. Dining Choices: Viking's expedition ships offer an array of dining options that build on the venues from Viking's ocean ships. The Restaurant offers fine dining featuring regional cuisine and always-available classics; the casual World Café offers live cooking, an open kitchen, bakery, grill and premium seafood and sushi choices, as well as a wide range of international flavors; Mamsen's, named for the Hagen family matriarch, serves Scandinavian-inspired fare; Manfredi's offers the best of Italian cuisine; and 24-hour room service is complimentary for all guests as on Viking's ocean voyages.

• Enrichment On Board and On Shore: Viking has created the world's leading enrichment environment in an expedition setting. Exclusive partnerships with the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)—as well as other prestigious scientific institutions—will match leading researchers and educators with each expedition. Thirty-six experts will accompany each journey as part of the Viking Expedition Team, including an Expedition Leader and support staff, photographer, field research scientists, general naturalists, mountain guides, kayak guides, submarine pilots and specialists (ornithology, geology, higher predator biology and history). On board, guests will enjoy daily briefings and world-class lectures about their destination – and engage with working scientists from renowned academic institutions in The Science Lab or participate directly in citizen science programs. On shore, guests can assist in fieldwork or interact through experiential activities during landings – such as monitoring birds to help identify migratory patterns; accompanying scientists to collect samples; or taking their cameras ashore alongside a professional photographer to learn how best to capture scenic landscapes.

• Environmentally Considerate: Viking's expedition ships have set a new standard for responsible travel with an energy-efficient design that exceeds the Energy Efficiency Design Index* (EEDI) requirements by nearly 36%—more than any other expedition ship. In addition to an integrated bow, engines with heat recovery systems and Azipod Electric Propulsion, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris have received one of the industry's first SILENT-E notations—the highest-level certification for quiet ship propulsion, minimizing underwater noise pollution.

Holland America Line's Zuiderdam Resumes Service from Port of San Diego
Holland America Line's Zuiderdam returned to service today from Port of San Diego in California, the second Holland America ship to resume service in San Diego since the industrywide pause.

Zuiderdam's crew celebrated the return in holiday spirit with sleighbells ringing and Santa and his elves on hand to open embarkation and welcome guests back on board. Zuiderdam joins Koningsdam, which resumed service in San Diego Oct. 10. Holland America Line now has six ships cruising again in the Caribbean, Mexico and along the Pacific Coast of the United States.

Holland America Line's Zuiderdam resumes cruising from San Diego today.

"San Diego is an important homeport for us, and we are excited to have two ships back in full-time operation here with the restart of Zuiderdam today," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "We are proud to be part of the San Diego community, which has continued to show us tremendous support throughout our restart. There's no better way to kick off Zuiderdam's season than with a holiday cruise full of joyful guests and our grateful crew who are happy to have them back on board."

Zuiderdam's first cruise is a 10-day "Mexico and Sea of Cortez" that will be followed by Panama Canal departures and a grand 35-day South Pacific sojourn and Pacific cruise. Koningsdam sails a series of seven-day cruises to the California Coast or Mexico and two longer Hawaii voyages that run through April 3, 2022. Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam each make one call at San Diego in spring 2022.

Earlier in the week on Dec. 19, while remaining alongside at San Diego's B-Street Cruise Terminal, Zuiderdam took part in the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights with an illuminated "Ho Ho Ho" on the ship's side to show community support.

Holland America Line has been homeporting from the Port of San Diego since the 1990s. For the upcoming 2021-22 season, the cruise line will bring more than 81,000 guests to the city, which will result in more than $35 million in direct spending.

Royal Caribbean Reveals 2023 Caribbean Season Itineraries
Royal Caribbean International today revealed the 2023 seasonal Caribbean cruises that will make waves with a summer of firsts. Wonder of the Seas, debuting in March 2022, headlines the lineup with its first U.S. summer from Port Canaveral (Orlando), Florida. The new, innovative ship will be joined by the amplified Mariner of the Seas, while Harmony of the Seas calls Miami its summer home for the first time. The bold lineup is rounded out by the first Oasis Class summer in Galveston, Texas, with Allure of the Seas slated for a full season at the cruise line’s new, $125 million terminal. Summer 2023 Caribbean cruises are now open, with more Caribbean getaways to be revealed early next year.

Families and travelers of all ages can have their pick of short, 5-night cruises and 7- to 8-night sailings that feature idyllic destinations in Bermuda and the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean. The vibrant, tropical places they visit from April through October 2023 include Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao (ABC islands), Puerto Rico, Mexico, St. Kitts and Royal Caribbean’s private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas.

Whichever itinerary beckons travelers, a day of thrill and chill on Perfect Day at CocoCay will be among the highlights on most sailings from Florida. The cruise line’s top-rated destination in the Caribbean welcomes guests to create their perfect day with 13 heart-pumping waterslides at Thrill Waterpark, including the tallest waterslide in North America; sights from the highest vantage point in The Bahamas on helium balloon Up, Up & Away; the first floating cabanas, a dedicated restaurant and infinity pool at Coco Beach Club; and more across dining, relaxation and adventure.

The matchup of award-winning ships and array of itineraries makes for exhilarating thrills from ship to shore. On Oasis Class ships Wonder, Allure and Harmony, adventures await in Royal Caribbean’s distinct signature neighborhoods. There are all-time favorites like the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea, and more than 20 different restaurants, bars and lounges, plus all-new highlights on Wonder, such as the Suite Neighborhood and the area’s dedicated sun deck. The amplified Mariner brings to life a combination of experiences for guests to seamlessly transition from a day at the pool to a night out. The lineup on board features a Caribbean-inspired and resort-style pool deck, a trio of high-speed waterslides known as The Perfect Storm, The Bamboo Room, a tiki-chic lounge; and more.

Itinerary Highlights

Allure of the Seas – Cruising from: Galveston
Vacationers have the Lone Star State’s biggest summer ever on the horizon when Allure becomes the first Oasis Class ship to call Galveston home for the season. Just in time for summer family vacations, Royal Caribbean has extended Allure’s big Texas debut in winter 2022-2023 and opened a lineup of 7-night Western Caribbean cruises. Travelers can set their sights on more ways and time to get away to the tropics, including destinations like Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; and Roatan, Honduras.

Allure will continue to set sail from Royal Caribbean’s new, $125 million terminal, which opens its doors in October 2022. The 161,300-square-foot and LEED-certified terminal, built in partnership with Galveston Wharves, will make way for Galveston to welcome the cruise line’s globally renowned Oasis Class – the world’s largest cruise ships – for the first time.

Wonder of the Seas – Cruising from: Port Canaveral
Following the world’s largest cruise ship’s debut in 2022, the cruise line keeps the good times rolling for vacationers. Wonder will sail its first summer in the U.S. from Port Canaveral, extending its newly announced 2022 winter season that starts in November. The adventure to be found in the new, innovative ship’s eight action-packed neighborhoods, including an Oasis Class first – the Suite Neighborhood – extends to the destinations in store on the 7-night Western and Eastern Caribbean cruises. Highlights include Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Cozumel; and Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Harmony of the Seas – Cruising from: Miami
The cruise capital of the world will be Harmony’s summer homeport for the first time. An Oasis Class favorite, perfect for families and travelers of every age, Harmony will set sail on 7-night cruises to the sun-soaked shores of the Western and Eastern Caribbean. Natural sights and adventures will be at every destination, which include Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis; Charlotte Amalie; Oranjestad, Aruba; Costa Maya; and Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Mariner of the Seas – Cruising from: Port Canaveral
Returning to Port Canaveral for the third consecutive summer, the amplified Mariner sets course to offer vacationers varying ways to get away to the Caribbean. With their choice of short and longer itineraries of 5, 7 and 8 nights to Bermuda, and the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean, travelers can visit stunning destinations across the board, such as the Dominican Republic, Aruba, Curacao and St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. And on all 8-night Bermuda and Perfect Day at CocoCay cruises, there are two nights in Bermuda

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 20.95 + 10.85%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 78.46 + 7.98%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.86 + 8.86%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 22.14 + 6.75%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
October 25, 1986 was the end of an era for Cunard Line. What was the significance of that date?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Here's one from a 1967 booklet put out by the Trans-Atlantic Passenger Steamship Conference - What is the name of the small rope, tied to the end of a hawser on a ship. The rope is is thrown ashore, and by it one end of the hawser is hauled to the pier.

Answer - The small line attached to a hawser while docking is called a "heaving line". courtesy of Bill Richards, Highlands, NJ


Cruise News - December 20, 2021

Discovery Princess Completes Successful Sea Trials
Princess Cruises announced this week that it has achieved a major milestone in preparation for the debut of its newest ship - Discovery Princess - with the completion of sea trials.

Discovery Princess set out to sea from the construction dock at Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, and was put through a series of paces to test the steering, navigation equipment and propulsion. After a successful five days of trials, Discovery Princess is now back in the shipyard for further exterior and interior finishing to prepare for her maiden, seven-day Mexican Riviera cruise sailing roundtrip from the Port of Los Angeles on March 27, 2022.

The 3,660-guest Discovery Princess is the sixth and final Royal-Class newbuild and shares all of the spectacular style and luxury of her sister ships – Enchanted Princess?, Sky Princess, Majestic Princess?, Regal Princess? and Royal Princess?. With an array of innovative new experiences, guests will enjoy 270-degree sweeping views from the largest balconies at sea in the Sky Suites, unwind in ultimate comfort at The Sanctuary and indulge the senses with world-class dining options. Plus, Princess live entertainment presents mesmerizing new Broadway-style production shows that can only be seen in the state-of-the-art Princess Theater.

In addition, Discovery Princess is the newest ship to join the fleet offering Princess Medallion Class Vacations which begins with the Medallion, a quarter-sized, wearable device that enables everything from expedited contactless boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever guests need, delivered directly to them, wherever they are on the ship. In addition, guests can share their favorite cruise moments using MedallionNet, the best WiFi at sea, as well as stay connected with friends and family back home, work remotely anywhere on the ship, quickly post content and stream favorite movies and shows.

Discovery Princess will sail on a series of Mexican Riviera and California Coast voyages from March 27 – April 24, 2022, before heading up the Pacific coast to begin a season of seven-day Alaska cruises from Seattle.

Carnival Corporation Provides Fourth Quarter 2021 Business Update
Carnival Corporation & plc provides fourth quarter 2021 business update.

Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald noted, "Since resuming guest cruise operations, we have established effective protocols for COVID-19 and its variants and have returned 65,000 team members and 50 ships, all while delivering an exceptional guest experience to over 1.2 million guests and counting. And we have done that while honoring our commitment to strive for excellence in compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and well-being of everyone."

Donald added, "Our cash from operations turned positive in the month of November, and we expect consistently positive cash flow beginning in the second quarter of 2022 as additional ships resume guest cruise operations. We enter the year with $9.4 billion of liquidity, essentially the same liquidity level as last year but with significantly improved cash flow generation ahead, as ship operating cash flow and customer deposits continue to build. During 2021, we believe we have clearly maximized our return to service and strengthened our financial position to withstand potential volatility on our path to profitability."

Fourth Quarter 2021 Results and Statistical Information

• For the cruise segments, revenue per PCD for the fourth quarter of 2021 increased approximately 4% compared to a strong 2019. The increase was driven in part by exceptionally strong onboard and other revenue.

• Occupancy in the fourth quarter of 2021 was 58%, which was better than the 54% in the third quarter of 2021.

• Available lower berth days ("ALBD") for the fourth quarter of 2021 were 10.2 million, which represents 47% of total fleet capacity. ALBDs are expected to be 14.1 million for the first quarter of 2022, which represents 63% of total fleet capacity.

Donald noted, "We achieved 4% higher revenue per passenger day in our fourth quarter compared to a strong fourth quarter of 2019, while at the same time ramping up occupancy and capacity. In fact, Carnival Cruise Line experienced another quarter of double-digit revenue growth per passenger day compared to 2019, operating at nearly 60% of its capacity while also improving occupancy, and is now approaching 90% occupancy levels in the month of December, which is a testament to the fundamental strength in demand for our cruise product."

Carnival said that it's monthly average cash burn rate for the fourth quarter of 2021 was $510 million, which was better than expected. The monthly average cash burn rate includes revenues earned on voyages, ongoing ship operating and administrative expenses, restart spend, working capital changes (excluding changes in customer deposits), interest expense and capital expenditures (net of export credit facilities), and excludes scheduled debt maturities as well as other cash collateral to be provided. As the company continues its gradual return to service, it expects to continue incurring incremental restart related spend, including the cost of returning ships to guest cruise operations and returning crew members to its ships as well as the incremental costs of maintaining enhanced health and safety protocols.

The gradual resumption of the company's guest cruise operations continues to have a material impact on all aspects of its business, including the company's liquidity, financial position and results of operations. Carnival said that it expects a net loss for the first half of 2022 and a profit for the second half of 2022 on both a U.S. GAAP and adjusted basis for both periods.

Resumption of Guest Cruise Operations

Donald added, "With over 60% of our capacity now in operation and the remainder planned by spring, we are well positioned for our seasonally strong summer period."

Since resuming its guest cruise operations in September 2020, Carnival said that it has carried 1.2 million guests onboard its ships. As of November 30, 2021, eight of the company's nine brands have resumed guest cruise operations as part of its gradual return to service, with 61% of its capacity operating with guests on board. Carnival said that it continues to expect to have its full fleet back in operation as follows:

While Carnival said that it will benefit from the disposal of 19 smaller, less efficient ships since the beginning of the pause in guest cruise operations, Carnival said that it is forecasting net cruise costs (see Explanations of Non-GAAP Financial Measures) without fuel per ALBD in 2022 to be significantly higher than 2019. This is driven by a portion of our fleet being in pause status for part of the year, restart related expenses, the cost of maintaining enhanced health and safety protocols and inflation. We anticipate that most of these costs and expenses will end in 2022 and will not reoccur in fiscal 2023. In 2022, fuel consumption is forecasted to be 2.9 million metric tons. The blended spot price for fuel is currently $563 per metric ton.

Carnival said that it has worked closely with health and medical experts globally and nationally, as well as with authorities in destination countries, to put in place comprehensive health and safety protocols for protection against and mitigation of COVID-19 across the entire cruise experience for all of the company's nine brands. This includes cross-industry learnings and best practices based on the proven health and safety record of industry-wide sailings, and input from top scientists and public health, epidemiological and policy experts. Protocols have been and will continue to be updated based on evolving scientific and medical knowledge related to mitigation strategies. Details about enhanced protocols, including the latest information and requirements for each of the company's brands, is available on their websites.

Update on Bookings

Donald added, "Booking volumes continue to build for the remainder of 2022 and well into 2023 and we are achieving those early bookings with strong demand and pricing."

Cumulative advanced bookings for the second half of 2022 and first half of 2023 are at the higher end of historical ranges and at higher prices, with or without FCCs, normalized for bundled packages, as compared to 2019 sailings. Booking volumes for the same periods during fourth quarter of 2021 were higher than the third quarter of 2021. Over the last few weeks, we have experienced an initial impact on bookings related to near-term sailings as a result of the Omicron variant. (Due to the gradual resumption in guest cruise operations, Carnival said that it's current booking trends will be compared to booking trends for 2019 sailings.)

Total customer deposits increased $360 million to $3.5 billion as of November 30, 2021 from $3.1 billion as of August 31, 2021. For the third consecutive quarter, Carnival said that it saw an increase in customer deposits.

Carnival Corporation Celebrates Opening of Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal
Carnival Corporation today celebrated the official opening of Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal with Shamal Holding following their strategic partnership signed in 2018 to develop the new cruise port as the main hub for cruise tourism in Dubai.

The occasion was marked with a walk-through by Abdulla Binhabtoor, chief portfolio management officer of Shamal Holding, and several Carnival Corporation executives, including Giora Israel, senior vice president of global port and destination development for Carnival Corporation; Michael Thamm, group CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia; Felix Eichhorn, president of AIDA Cruises; Mario Zanetti, president of Costa Cruises; Michel Nestour, vice president of global port and destination development for the EuroMed & Arabian Gulf region at Carnival Corporation; and Torben Seidenschnur, director CEO office and strategic development at Costa Group.

With the arrivals of Costa Firenze and AIDAbella from the company's Italy-based Costa Cruises and Germany-based AIDA Cruises brands, the official opening was also marked by two passenger cruise ships visiting the Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal for the first time, coinciding with the start of the cruise season and the ships' homeporting seasons from Dubai. The opening represents a significant milestone in realizing Dubai's goal of becoming the world's most visited city, underscored with the October launch of the highly popular Expo 2020 in Dubai. Through Costa Cruises' partnership as a Gold Sponsor of the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, cruise guests are provided with exciting shore excursion options to explore the World Exhibition.

As the region's first-ever dedicated, twin-terminal cruise port, Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal is capable of accommodating two large cruise ships simultaneously. The world-class facility spans over 120,000 square meters (nearly 1.3 million square feet) and includes two purpose-built terminal buildings that offer passengers and crew a safe, comfortable and seamless embarkation and disembarkation experience. The state-of-the-art terminals are equipped with four bespoke Seaport Passenger Boarding Bridges that can simultaneously support the full turnaround of the largest class of cruise ships in the industry.

"After years of working closely with Shamal Holding, we are absolutely thrilled to welcome guests from around the world to Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal," said Thamm. "As the world's largest cruise company, our passion is providing our guests with extraordinary vacation experiences, and we are confident that our partnership with Shamal Holding will enhance the overall experience for our guests. The two terminals stand as a tribute to the remarkable appeal of Dubai and the Arabian Gulf as a cruise destination, and we look forward to working with Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal and its community partners to make Dubai Harbour a highly efficient and customer-friendly operation, while facilitating new tourism opportunities through cruising in the region."

"We're delighted to see our partnership with Carnival Corporation and its brands hit another significant milestone as today we welcomed two extraordinary cruise ships to Dubai Harbour, the largest standalone dedicated twin-cruise terminal center in the eastern hemisphere. It is exciting to see so many thousands of people enter the city through this stunning seafront district, the newest entry point to Dubai, which is already considered to be the ideal gateway to the region for cruise ships from around the world."

Added Binhabtoor regarding the alignment with Dubai Tourism Strategy: "The Dubai Harbour development represents a historic milestone in Dubai's role as this region's foremost destination for lifestyle, leisure and luxury – a moment in history that brings forward the realization of Dubai's ambition to become the most visited city in the world. However, it is not only an extraordinary destination for cruise passengers from every corner of the world, but also a natural gateway to the attractions that Dubai has to offer and, as a result of the city's strategic location, other international destinations as well."

The cruise terminals, which are part of Dubai Harbour development, offer a wide array of amenities and services for passengers and crew – from ample seating areas to washrooms, currency exchange outlets, ATMs, cafes, retail outlets, duty-free, dedicated parking, taxi stands and more. The facilities are designed to be fully accessible for all visitors and complimentary Wi-Fi is enabled for guests and crew to stay connected.

Located in the heart of modern Dubai, the new twin-terminal facility is conveniently positioned for international visitors traveling in and out of Dubai. Dubai Harbour's spectacular backdrop, iconic vista and accessible location are combined with a wide range of living, retail and hospitality choices, as well as comprehensive berthing facilities, to comprise the region's most unique lifestyle offering – including experiences such as Dubai Harbour Yacht Club, Dubai Harbour Pier Club, Dubai Harbour Marinas, Skydive Dubai and Zero Gravity.

As a gateway to the Arabian Gulf cruise destinations such as Oman and Abu Dhabi, Dubai has been a highly popular destination for the company's Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises brands, which first began operating from Dubai in 2006. In late November, AIDAbella arrived in Dubai at Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal for the first time, marking the first regular cruise passenger operation for the new terminals and the start of the ship's winter season. In addition, Costa Firenze's arrival in Dubai on Dec. 16 marked the start of the ship's season from Dubai, where it is homeporting for the first time ever, through March 2022.

Together, six brands from Carnival Corporation – AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises (UK), Princess Cruises and Seabourn – will visit the Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal by 2023 and in total, the six brands are expected by then to make 90 calls to the new twin-terminal cruise port.

Carnival Corporation, Jabil Launch Consumer Wearable Production Line in the Caribbean
Two of Florida's most prominent companies – Carnival Corporation, and Jabil, Inc. – today announced they are partnering to launch the first Experience Internet of Things consumer wearables manufacturing and fulfillment location in the Florida/Caribbean region.

Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic, is the site of the first Princess Medallion device manufacturing facility outside of Asia, as Carnival Corporation adds production capacity support for its Caribbean cruises while also boosting economic development by supporting the more than 600 jobs at Jabil's Dominican Republic facility.

"The proximity of Jabil's state-of-the-art facilities and factory automation along with its exceptional track record across consumer, medical and military device manufacturing gives us a tremendous opportunity to support the increased demand for our experiential IoT wearables and also support good-paying jobs in the Dominican Republic in the highly desirable sector of travel and tourism," said John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation. "This development also reflects the continuation of Carnival Corporation's impressive investments throughout the Caribbean to stimulate economic growth and prosperity across the region."

Launched in 2017, the revolutionary Medallion wearable contains a proprietary blend of communication technologies and enables the world's first interactive guest experience platform transforming vacation travel on a large scale into a highly personalized level of customized service.

Currently available on ships from Princess Cruises, MedallionClass vacations leverage the innovation within the Medallion to enable touchless embarkation and disembarkation, frictionless commerce and keyless stateroom entry, as well as dynamic way-finding on board, family and friends locator, first-run movies on the go, an interactive events and activities planner, and interactive gaming.

The quarter-sized, 1.8-ounce wearable disc has no discernible technology – no on-off switch, no recharge needed, no menu to navigate, and is waterproof, heat- and cold-resistant and sand- and salt-proof. The Medallions are emblazoned with the cruise line's logo and each disc is laser-etched with the guest's name, name of their ship and sail date. vInside the Medallion are two microscopic antennas – one utilizing Near Field Communication (NFC) and one utilizing Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). The device seamlessly syncs with an invisible Experiential Internet of ThingsTM (xIoTTM) network of readers, sensors and edge computing devices that recognize individual guests in locations throughout the ships and facilitate experiences for them based on location, personal information they provide and onboard interactions. vThe Medallion wearables are being produced in Jabil's 60,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Bajos de Haina's PIISA Industrial Park, part of the area's fast-growing free trade zone. Medallions produced and fulfilled at the Dominican Republic location will ship to Miami for distribution to guests sailing Princess MedallionClass vacations in the Caribbean.

"Jabil is excited about this new partnership with Carnival Corporation and confident that our manufacturing solutions in one of our newest sites will meet the needs of this world-class wearable that elevates the Princess Cruises guest experience," said Mike Mahaz, vice president of global business units at Jabil. "Our facility in Santo Domingo is the ideal location to support this exciting new product, given its proximity and high-caliber talent pool."

In addition to the new manufacturing initiative, Princess Cruises is also growing the number of ship visits to the Dominican Republic during the 2021-22 season by 250%, compared to 2019.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 18.90 + 3.05%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 72.66 + 0.71%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.79 - 12.22%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 20.74 + 0.73%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Here's one from a 1967 booklet put out by the Trans-Atlantic Passenger Steamship Conference - What is the name of the small rope, tied to the end of a hawser on a ship. The rope is is thrown ashore, and by it one end of the hawser is hauled to the pier.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Beginning in March of 1989, Cunard's QE2 was out of service for 72 days. Why was she out of service?

Answer - To celebrate the 130th anniversary of the City of Yokohama the QE2 was charetered by a number of Japanese companies for 72 days. The ship docked alongside the passenger terminal in the port and was a central attraction. Although she did not go to sea she maintained her status as an ocean liner throughout the 72 days. Every day several hundred visitors arrived to spend the night aboard and another 1200 or so spent a few hours having lunch, looking around or shopping. All the usual events took place and there was a full program of entertainment. The atmosphere remained Western but it was supplemented by Japanese staff with signs and menus translated into Japanese. courtesy of courtesy of Ralph Sackett, Lichfield, England (With grateful acknowledgement to Captain W. Warwick from his book "QE2" which I purchased while cruising from Southampton to New York June 2001)


Cruise News - December 13, 2021

Enchanted Princess Officially Named
Enchanted Princess, the fifth royal-class ship in the Princess Cruises fleet, was officially named in a ceremony and celebration as part of an original production "Our World, Enchanted," that premiered earlier today on the cruise line's YouTube channel and Facebook page.

"Our World, Enchanted" is now available to watch on demand here. Hosted by Princess Cruises Celebrations Ambassador Jill Whelan and Enchanted Princess Cruise Director Dan Falconer, the show introduces viewers to the innovative features and amenities of the MedallionClass ship, shares some of the history of Princess as an industry and destination leader and culminates in the official naming to welcome Enchanted Princess into the Princess global fleet.

The ceremony honors three members of The Explorers Club who serve as the godmothers of Enchanted Princess. The notable godmothers have been recognized for their achievements in expeditions, oceanography and mapping the oceans – Captain Lynn Danaher, Dr. Vicki Ferrini and Jenifer Austin.

"Our World, Enchanted" includes appearances by newly appointed Princess Cruises President John Padgett, Group President Jan Swartz and Commodore Nick Nash, and provides a look into the beautifully designed interiors, elegantly appointed accommodations, world-class entertainment, gourmet dining and craft cocktails available on Enchanted Princess.

The 145,000-ton, 3,660-guest ship represents an evolution of the design platform used for her sister ships – Royal Princess (2013), Regal Princess (2014), Majestic Princess (2017) and Sky Princess (2019) – offering an elevation of spectacular style and elegance that is distinguished by Princess. The ship's inaugural cruise season began Nov. 10, with various 10-day Southern Caribbean itineraries, sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale.

Carnival Radiance Christened
In a celebration of all things fun and family, Carnival Cruise Line christened its newest ship Carnival Radiance last night in a naming ceremony in Long Beach, Calif., with the ship's Godmother Dr. Lucille O'Neal and her son, Carnival Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O'Neal as featured guests of the event.

Carnival Radiance underwent a $200 million bow-to-stern makeover and is Carnival's third ship sailing year-round from Long Beach, joining Carnival Panorama and Carnival Miracle.

The heartfelt naming ceremony began with a "We Are Family" video of Carnival Radiance crew members preparing the ship for guests.

"Carnival Radiance features all of Carnival's fan favorites and more, so we are beyond excited to finally welcome her to the West Coast and to our fleet," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "And having Shaq's mom, Lucille, an accomplished speaker who donates her time and talent to a wide range of charitable organizations as the ship's Godmother has made it even more special."

Duffy presented Lucille with a $25,000 donation to the Odessa Chambliss Quality of Life Fund that honors the lifetime accomplishments of Lucille's mother who worked in the medical field as a nurse. The fund's primary mission is to provide financial contributions to help support students seeking a career in nursing and education.

As part of the ceremony, Lucille and Shaquille helped pour champagne atop a traditional ship's bell, officially naming the ship. The City of Refuge Sanctuary Choir from Gardena, Calif. rocked the house with a gospel rendition of "We Are Family" as event guests waved light sticks during an emotional grand finale.

"What a special evening it was to celebrate the debut of Carnival Radiance with my son by my side in what truly felt like a "We Are Family" event," said Lucille. "It has been such a pleasure to be included in these exciting festivities, so I can only imagine how incredible it will be for guests to sail aboard this spectacular ship – they're going to love it."

Prior to the naming ceremony, the evening kicked off with the mother-son duo cutting a ribbon to officially open Big Chicken, the second seagoing restaurant created by Shaquille, which debuted on Mardi Gras earlier this year, featuring dishes based on his family's recipes.

The ship departs today from the Port of Long Beach on its inaugural four-day cruise. Carnival Radiance's West Coast-based itineraries include three-day voyages to Ensenada and four-day sailings calling at Ensenada and Catalina Island. She joins Carnival Panorama operating week-long Mexican Riviera cruises and Carnival Miracle sailing four- and five-day Mexico voyages

In addition to Big Chicken, new offerings added to Carnival Radiance include Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse created by Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri; Heroes Tribute Bar saluting those that serve in the Armed Forces; Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant; Bonsai Sushi; and the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub. All of the ship's public spaces have been transformed as well – including the water park, youth facilities, retail shops, Cloud 9 Spa and a new Liquid Lounge home to Carnival's award-winning Playlist Productions shows. The exterior of the ship has also been adorned with the line's new red, white and blue hull livery fashioned after its flagship, Mardi Gras.

Disney Cruise Line Selects Port Everglades for Second Year-Round Homeport
The Broward County Commission was joined today by Disney Cruise Line President Thomas Mazloum and Captain Minnie Mouse to celebrate a new agreement naming Port Everglades as Disney’s second year-round homeport. The family-favorite cruise line is bringing its magic to Broward County’s cruise port under a 15-year partnership that includes a minimum 10.6 million passenger movements, and three 5-year extension options that could add another 11.25 million passenger movements. The agreement provides for one ship to be homeported in Port Everglades year-round beginning fall 2023, joined by a second, seasonal ship in 2025.

“As we expand our fleet of ships and introduce innovative new cruise experiences, we couldn’t be more pleased to bring the magic of Disney to Port Everglades,” said Mazloum. “With a dedicated, specially designed cruise terminal for our guests, we look forward to creating magical memories starting the moment they arrive at this exciting new homeport.”

Adding Port Everglades as a second homeport gives Disney a dedicated terminal in a market with direct highway access and one of the nation’s fastest growing airports, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Disney’s original homeport is Port Canaveral, located in Central Florida.

“We are diversifying our cruise portfolio and will have three major cruise companies sailing from Port Everglades, which will strengthen visitor numbers in support of our hospitality and tourism industry in Broward County,” said Port Everglades Chief Executive and Port Director Jonathan Daniels. “I extend a special thanks to our County Administrator Bertha Henry and our County Commissioners for their faith and trust. All we need is a little pixie dust to transform Terminal 4 and Disney is ready to sail.”

“Disney is a big name that will bring big business to Broward County,” said Broward County Mayor Michael Udine. “We welcome everyone under the sun, and Disney Cruise Line is an excellent fit for our inclusive, family friendly destination.

Seabourn Announces Two Voyages to Northwest and Northeast Passages
Seabourn has announced an exciting line-up of voyages for the summer of 2023 on its two new purpose-built expedition ships, Seabourn Venture and Seabourn Pursuit. The program includes the line's first-ever voyages to the Northeast and Northwest Passages in the Arctic, where guests will discover two of the world's most remote and fascinating regions filled with an abundance of history, wildlife, and unique landscapes.

Seabourn Venture will depart July 29, 2023, for a 26-day journey across the Northeast Passage from Tromsø, Norway to Nome, Alaska. Its sister ship, Seabourn Pursuit, which is scheduled to launch in March 2023, will offer a 21-day adventure to the infamous Northwest Passage departing August 27, 2023, from Kangerlussuaq, Greenland to Nome. The expedition ships will be designed and built for diverse environments to PC6 Polar Class standards, with advanced technology to maneuver in these regions. These voyages, as well as the entire summer 2023 season, are open for sale on December 15, and additional details will be available on www.seabourn.com.

"Our Northeast Passage and Northwest Passage are truly epic itineraries that are perfect for travelers who want to explore regions less traveled, and take in the landscapes, nature and wildlife they never thought they would ever see," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "Seabourn offers the most luxurious and most exclusive ocean and expedition experiences on Earth."

Seabourn's Northeast Passage and Northwest Passage expeditions will trace the footsteps of great explorers and deliver a number of authentic, engaging experiences. Highlights of these voyages, as well as the summer 2023 season on Seabourn Venture and Seabourn Pursuit, include:

26-day Journey Across the Northeast Passage on Seabourn Venture - July 29, 2023

A remote and sparsely inhabited area, the Northeast Passage is a voyage of discovery that very few have ever taken. Among the many highlights guests may experience on this journey are:

• Navigate across the top of Norway and Arctic Russia and grasp the sheer immensity of this region.

• Revel in the dichotomy of microscopic delicate flora surviving in immeasurably huge frozen landscapes.

• Search for marine life and enigmatic polar bears on Wrangel Island.

• Contemplate sea ice and understand how its presence has shaped the history of this region.

• Search for marine wildlife in the water and seabirds nesting on cliffs or tundra slopes on shore.

• Explore the transformative nature of the area and the impacts that climate change is having on the people, wildlife and landscapes through which the ship passes.

The ship will visit a number of interesting destinations throughout the expedition, including:

• Storstappen Island, a hotspot for hundreds of thousands of breeding seabirds

• Mumansk, Russia, with activities including a visit to the Nuclear Icebreaker Lenin

• Sailing the Barents Sea, where nutrient-rich waters host a bevy of migratory sea birds and marine mammals

• Novaya Zemlya, Russia, where guests can explore the islands in the remote Russian High Arctic via hike, kayak, and Zodiac

• Franz Joseph Land, an archipelago of 192 islands in the Russian Arctic National Park where polar bears, Atlantic walruses, bowhead whales, and ivory gulls are among its protected species

• Wrangel Island, Russia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located well above the Arctic Circle that is often referred to as a polar bear "nursery"

• Provideniya, Russia, the former Soviet military port where a tour will take in a stunning local museum and a visit to the Cultural Center for tea, music, and dance

21-Day Journey Across the Northwest Passage on Seabourn Pursuit – August 27, 2023

Seabourn Pursuit will offer the extraordinary opportunity to travel one of the most infamous and storied passages in the world from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Notable experiences include:

• Navigate through the most infamous passages in the world, one whose history of exploration is more fascinating than any other region on the planet.

• Contemplate the lonely resting sites of the Franklin Expedition on the wild and stark Beechy Island.

• Explore small Inuit towns such as Cambridge Bay and see how modern life has transformed the people of the Arctic.

• Ponder the ice situation in Bellot Strait, where the ship will need to navigate through a narrow and challenging geographical gap.

• Search for marine wildlife both in the water and on any sea ice that may be encountered.

In addition, the ship will visit many destinations, including:

• Sisimiut, Greenland's second-largest city with the best-preserved historic church in the country

• Ilulissat, which in Greenlandic means "iceberg," located at the terminus of the Jakobshavn Glacier, which calves spectacularly into the sea

• Pond Inlet in Nunavut, Canada, where local Inuit residents will guide a walk through town

• Croker Bay at Devon Island, the world's largest uninhabited island in Baffin Bay off the coast of Nunavut

• Nine days tracing the Northwest Passage, where the expedition team will deploy the kayaks, Zodiacs, and submarines for naturalist-led experiences set on a flexible schedule that's guided by ice

• Five days sailing along Canada's Northwest and Yukon Territories via the Beaufort Sea, with the expedition team on the lookout for seabirds and marine mammals en route to the journey's end in Nome, a town born from the discovery of gold in 1898

Seabourn Pursuit's Maiden Season

Scheduled to launch on March 2023, Seabourn Pursuit will explore the Arctic, Greenland, Iceland & the Canadian Arctic during its maiden season, starting with a 12-day Wild & Ancient Scotland & Iceland pre-inaugural voyage departing on March 23, 2023 from Amsterdam to Reykjavik, Iceland. The ship will then operate a 14-day Lands of Fire & Ice inaugural voyage departing April 4, 2023 roundtrip from Reykjavik. The ship will wind its way along the coast of Greenland and Iceland, where it be filled with snow swept landscapes – the "Ice" – and have a late night in Akureyri, a wonderland providing access to magnificent waterfalls (Goðafoss), hot springs and the lava fields of Dimmuborgir and Leirhnjukur – the "Fire".

Following its launch and inaugural voyage, Seabourn Pursuit will offer a 14-day Lands of Fire & Ice in Greenland and Iceland, followed by a series of explorations of the Arctic Circle from Norway, most with Seabourn's popular Svalbard Experience in the mix, including a 14-day Norway & Iceland Polar Bears & Puffins. A series of 14- and 15-day voyages between Greenland and Iceland will follow, as well as a 12-Day Bering Sea & Inside Passage Cruise visiting destinations along the coasts of Alaska and British Columbia, Canada.

St Kitts and Nevis Welcomes Four Cruise Ships Simultaneously
The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis' successful cruise season continues to prove the country's global appeal as a top travel destination. On December 7th, the dual-island nation welcomed four cruise ships to its Port Zante dock, three of which were from celebrity cruise lines. St Kitts and Nevis has enjoyed a thriving cruise sector for several years, and despite the COVID-19 pandemic and stringent travel restrictions, the islands have continued to attract holidaymakers near and far.

In November, St Kitts and Nevis welcomed more than 41,000 cruise passengers with this trajectory projected to only continue in December with an anticipated 60 cruise calls scheduled for the month. This is made possible by the government's careful management of the COVID-19 virus, ensuring that the safety of citizens and visitors are prioritised while still providing a stimulating travel experience.

Last month, St Kitts and Nevis celebrated the milestone of welcoming three cruise ships at the same time – the first time since the onset of the pandemic: "This is a momentous occasion for the entire country because it reflects continued confidence that our cruise line partners have in this beautiful Federation," said Deputy Prime Minister Shawn Richards at the time.

Prior to the global health crisis, the islands witnessed the arrival of one million cruise passengers for two consecutive years and had been hailed a "marquee destination" by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association.

Investment into the cruise sector has only contributed further to its success. The construction of Port Zante has enabled more ships to dock at the same time, bringing more people at the islands which in turn supports tourism stakeholders and the greater economy. Funds from the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme, an initiative that generates foreign direct investments in exchange for second citizenship, contributed to the project.

Holland America Line Appoints New Vice President of Public Relations and Communications
Holland America Line announces the appointment of Bill Zucker as vice president of public relations and communications. A leader in media strategy, brand reputation and crisis communications, Zucker brings more than 20 years of consulting experience to the executive position.

In his role as vice president of public relations and communications, Zucker will head the development, advancement and execution of public relations and communications functions, including media relations, special events, issues management, corporate giving and internal communications. He will report to Holland America President Gus Antorcha.

"Bill comes to Holland America Line with decades of retail communications and crisis management experience that will drive our public relations strategy and help us boldly tell our story in a new way," said Antorcha. "With his broadcast media and strategic communications background, Bill is a highly accomplished and respected professional. I look forward to the great things to come from his team."

Zucker joins Holland America Line most recently from Ketchum, a leading global communications consultancy, where he held the position of managing director, executive advisory and media services. Prior to Ketchum he was at BCW (formerly Burson-Marsteller). Zucker began his career in broadcast journalism and worked as a news producer and executive producer at ABC and CBS owned televisions stations.

"Travelers are ready to explore again, and Gus's vision for growth as Holland America Line returns to service is inspiring," Zucker said. "I am excited to help showcase the people and excellence behind this brand's once-in-a-lifetime experiences."

Zucker holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 18.34 - 1.34%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 72.15 - 0.14%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.90 +8.43%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 20.59 + 2.80%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Beginning in March of 1989, Cunard's QE2 was out of service for 72 days. Why was she out of service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Beginning in March of 1989, Cunard's QE2 was out of service for 72 days. Why was she out of service?

Answer - To celebrate the 130th anniversary of the City of Yokohama the QE2 was charetered by a number of Japanese companies for 72 days. The ship docked alongside the passenger terminal in the port and was a central attraction. Although she did not go to sea she maintained her status as an ocean liner throughout the 72 days. Every day several hundred visitors arrived to spend the night aboard and another 1200 or so spent a few hours having lunch, looking around or shopping. All the usual events took place and there was a full program of entertainment. The atmosphere remained Western but it was supplemented by Japanese staff with signs and menus translated into Japanese. courtesy of courtesy of Ralph Sackett, Lichfield, England (With grateful acknowledgement to Captain W. Warwick from his book "QE2" which I purchased while cruising from Southampton to New York June 2001)


Cruise News - December 6, 2021

Silversea Begins Construction Of First Nova Class Ship
Silversea Cruises has announced the name of its first ship, Silver NovaSM, developed as part of its innovative newbuild project known as Project Evolution, as well as the commencement of the ship's construction at Meyer Werft in Papenburg. Executives from Silversea and Meyer Werft marked the occasion with a traditional steel cutting ceremony on November 18. The revolutionary vessel, set for delivery in summer 2023, will be the first hybrid, luxury cruise ship free of local emissions at port, positioning Silversea at the forefront of sustainable cruising for years to come.

Silver Nova and future Nova class ships are the latest examples of Silversea's ongoing efforts to offer travelers an ultra-luxurious experience while simultaneously protecting the treasured destinations it visits and the communities it serves.

With its hybrid power sources, Silver Nova is expected to achieve a cruise industry-first – local emission-free operation in port by using fuel cells and batteries. Silver Nova will use liquefied natural gas (LNG) as its main fuel. The new hybrid technology not only helps in port, but will also allow Silver Nova to achieve a 40% overall reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions per double suite when compared to its previous class of ships (the Muse class).

"Our Nova class ships represent a significant investment in unprecedented technological solutions. They support our mission to preserve the planet without compromising on comfort or luxury," says Roberto Martinoli, President and CEO of Silversea Cruises. "Silver Nova is the manifestation of Silversea and Royal Caribbean Group's long-term commitment to sustainability."

"Sustainability is the future of luxury travel and the name Silver Nova is representative of the incredible innovation of Silversea's luxury," added Barbara Muckermann, Chief Commercial Officer. "Silversea is already a leader in environmentally conscious travel and now, with Silver Nova, we will go even further to meet the expectations of both today's and tomorrow's luxury traveler."

Aligned with the company's commitment and progress to carbon-neutral construction, Silver Nova is being built in Papenburg by Meyer Werft, one of the largest and most modern shipyards in the world. Meyer Weft is known for working with customers and suppliers to develop environmentally friendly and energy-efficient technologies that will comply with future regulations.

"We are delighted to begin the construction of this innovative ship and to continue our long partnership with Royal Caribbean Group. This day is a very special one for us, as it is the first time that a Silversea ship is being built at our shipyard," says Bernard Meyer, Managing Director of Meyer Werft.

Sustainable features of Silver Nova and all future Nova class ships include a micro auto gasification system, which reduces onboard waste volume, resulting in lower incineration emissions. In addition, the ship class is also projected to achieve an Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) rating of approximately 25% better than applicable International Maritime Organization (IMO) requirements. Shore power will allow the ship to shut down its main generators at select ports and plug into the onshore energy supply, thereby cutting onboard local emissions to zero. Overall, the ground-breaking hydrodynamic ship design and optimized innovation technology help lessen the ship's impact on environment.

Silver Nova will be one of the most spacious cruise ships ever built and will offer passengers an ultra-luxurious experience. This includes a space-to-guest ratio of 75 GRT-per-passenger – the highest in Silversea's fleet – offering one of the most personalized services at sea with a 1:1.3 crew-to-guest ratio, as well as the line's butler services for all suites. The ship will have a travel capacity of 728 guests and a gross tonnage of 54,700 tons.

Silver Nova is scheduled for delivery in summer 2023. Members of Silversea's loyalty program, the Venetian Society, and travel advisors will have pre-sale access starting December 16, 2021. General sales will open on January 6, 2022.

Margaritaville Sets Sail with Margaritaville at Sea
Today, Margaritaville announces Margaritaville at Sea, an offshore resort experience. The first cruise ship, Margaritaville Paradise, will offer the fun, escapism, and state of mind synonymous with the global lifestyle brand.

"To me, the only thing better than being on a beach by the ocean, is to be on the ocean. Now you can follow in our wake," said singer, songwriter and best-selling author, Jimmy Buffett.

Departing on her first passenger sailing on April 30 from the Port of Palm Beach Florida to Grand Bahama Island, Margaritaville Paradise will include 10 passenger decks and 658 cabins in various stateroom categories. Following a multi-million investment and refurbishment, the ship's cabins and common spaces will feature Margaritaville's signature casual-luxe design with subtle nautical details and colors influenced by the surrounding sea, sand, and sky.

"Margaritaville at Sea will be a new, exciting, and fun way for guests to escape and vacation in Margaritaville," said John Cohlan, CEO of Margaritaville. "From oceans to lakes, Margaritaville has an organic tie to the water and with Margaritaville at Sea, we're able to put our iconic lifestyle, resort experiences, and elevated service directly on the sea. We look forward to seeing guests on, and in, Paradise."

Margaritaville Paradise, formerly Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's flagship vessel, Grand Classica, will feature gourmet food and beverage options, including JWB Prime Steak & Seafood, Frank and Lola's Pizzeria, Port of Indecision Buffet, LandShark Sports Bar, and Margaritaville Coffee & Pastry Shop as well as the Euphoria Lounge, Sunset Bar, and 5 o'Clock Somewhere Bar. Additionally, the ship will offer onboard leisure activities and entertainment, including the Par-A-Dice Casino, a Stars on the Water Theater, St. Somewhere Spa, Fins Up! Fitness Center, pools, a retail shop, and more. The ship was built at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard and entered service as a pioneer ship. She has opened many new markets and frontiers during her lifetime, so it is fitting that Margaritaville Paradise will again be a pioneer for Margaritaville at Sea.

"We're excited about this new partnership as we launch Margaritaville at Sea out of the Port of Palm Beach. We are incredibly proud of what we've built at Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and are appreciative of our loyal customers and trade partners who have stood by us through so much. We're excited about this next phase of our evolution, rebranding as Margaritaville at Sea. The collaborative concept will add a different dimension to the cruising industry, appealing to a new audience of travelers," added Oneil Khosa, CEO of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, who will serve as CEO of Margaritaville at Sea. "Margaritaville at Sea will provide guests with Margaritaville's authentic culture, entertainment, and food en route to a beautiful destination in Grand Bahama Island. The experience will be complemented by an unmatched, personalized approach to guest service from start to finish via valet service and exclusive cruise terminals for smoother embarkation and disembarkation. It's the perfect partnership in paradise."

Carnival Glory Makes Line’s First Call To Montego Bay, Jamaica, Since Resuming Cruising
As part of Carnival Cruise Line’s return to guest operations, Carnival Glory arrived in Montego Bay, Jamaica, today, for the first time since the industry-wide pause in operations. The arrival also marks the line’s return to a second port of call in Jamaica. Other Carnival ships have been calling to Ocho Rios since August.

Carnival Glory’s fourteen-day Panama Canal cruise departed from the Port of New Orleans on Nov. 28 and will also stop in Curacao; Aruba; Limón, Costa Rica; Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan; and Cozumel, Mexico.

“We are delighted to return to Montego Bay and offer guests an opportunity to experience all of the beauty and charm of this Jamaican port,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “On behalf of Carnival, I would like to thank our partners in Montego Bay for working with us to bring safe cruising and our guests back to Jamaica.”

With more than half of its ships already in guest operations, additional ships will resume service in the coming weeks and months as the line’s successful restart of operations continues. All 22 of Carnival’s U.S.-based ships will be back in guest operations by March 2022.

For additional information on Carnival Cruise Line and to book a cruise vacation, call 1-800-CARNIVAL, visit www.carnival.com, or contact your favorite travel advisor or online travel site.

Royal Caribbean Reveals Four World-Class Ships Head To Alaska In 2023
Royal Caribbean International this week announced adventurers can set course for Alaska with their choice of four world-class cruise ships in summer 2023. Three bold, returning favorites, Ovation, Quantum and Radiance of the Seas, will be joined by Enchantment of the Seas to offer families and all travelers a variety of ways to experience the Last Frontier and its majestic glaciers, breathtaking wildlife and charming towns. Now open to book, the new, far-reaching lineup of 7-night cruises will sail from Seattle, Washington; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Seward, Alaska between May and September 2023.

Following summer 2022, Royal Caribbean’s boldest Alaska season yet, the cruise line’s return in 2023 will be its second consecutive year with four ships in the region. From Mendenhall Glacier to the Inside Passage, to onboard memory-making thanks to unique experiences such as simulated skydiving on RipCord by iFly and taking in awe-inspiring views through acres of glass, vacationers have in store cool thrills from one day to the next.

Ovation and Quantum of the Seas
Cruising from: Seattle

Both Ovation and Quantum will deliver unparalleled, signature adventures against the jaw-dropping backdrop of Alaska’s picturesque landscapes for the second consecutive summer, sailing from Seattle. Whether from North Star – a world-recordholder as the highest viewing deck on a cruise ship – or the RipCord by iFly skydiving experience, guests will have panoramic views of the scenic fjords, sweeping mountains and pristine wilderness – all from on board.

On Ovation’s cruises, departing on Fridays, travelers can discover the best of Alaska from one charming town to the next. Extended stays also offer adventure seekers more time to explore in Skagway, Alaska, where one can retrace the steps of the historic Klondike Gold Rush and visit a restored 19th-century railroad depot; and state capital Juneau, Alaska, which offers dogsledding across Mendenhall Glacier and explorations of centuries-old mining trails. Plus, vacationers can head to the road less traveled at Ward Cove near Ketchikan where they can take in the unspoiled scenery along the Tongass Narrows and the wildlife that calls it home, like sea lions, bald eagles and porpoise.

Departing on Mondays, Quantum’s stunning itineraries will bring travelers up close to the massive Dawes Glacier after sailing through the impressive Endicott Arm, alongside visits to four coastal communities, including Ketchikan, Alaska, and Victoria, British Columbia. When heading ashore, travelers can look forward to immersing themselves in the local culture while at destinations like Sitka and Icy Strait Point, Alaska, home to the rich history of the Tlingit and activities ranging from kayak island-hopping to whale watching and fishing.

In between exploring storied destinations, guests can enjoy both award-winning ships’ memorable Royal Caribbean experiences. From the FlowRider surf simulator and rock climbing wall to the SeaPlex, the largest indoor activity complex at sea – which features bumper cars, a full-size basketball court, roller-skating rink and more – vacationers of all ages can get their adrenaline pumping. To wind things down after an action-packed day, travelers can kick back at the Vitality Spa and the indoor or outdoor pools that double as front-row seats to see the spectacular surroundings the region offers. Guests can also delight their palates with a world of flavors at restaurants like American steakhouse Chops Grille, the Asian-inspired Izumi or Jamie’s Italian before catching the cruise line’s original entertainment productions.

Radiance and Enchantment of the Seas
Cruising from: Seward and Vancouver | Vancouver

Radiance will, once again, sail alternating southbound and northbound itineraries that depart from Seward and Vancouver. Travelers will have the opportunity to discover the region’s magnificent landscapes firsthand when visiting Icy Strait Point, Sitka and Skagway, and as they sail the Inside Passage and by Hubbard Glacier.

The thrills continue on board Radiance with an exhilarating, 40-foot-tall rock climbing wall, poolside movie nights under the stars and guest-favorite dining venues, such as Chops Grille, Giovanni’s Table and Izumi. Plus, on deck are endless views through expansive ocean-facing glass elevators and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Enchantment makes its way to the Pacific coast for its debut Alaska season, sailing roundtrip from Vancouver. Vacationers have in store more glaciers than one, Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm fjord, and inspiring destinations like Haines, Ketchikan – the gateway to the wild landscapes and seascapes – Skagway and Juneau.

At each destination, guests can make lifelong memories on a variety of once-in-a-lifetime excursions. The experiences run the gamut from dogsledding in Skagway, alpine off-roading with an all-terrain vehicle, canoeing, kayaking and soaring to new heights on a helicopter ride for a bird’s-eye view of the mountains and glaciers. A day of thrills can end with unplugging and unwinding on board Enchantment at the indoor and outdoor pools and whirlpools, Vitality Spa, and a lineup of bars, lounges and restaurants – from Park Café to Chops Grille.

Aloha to the Pacific

Ovation, Quantum and Radiance of the Seas will head to the idyllic islands of Hawaii, where vacationers can discover its renowned rainforests, waterfalls and postcard-perfect beaches. On the way to Alaska, Ovation and Quantum will offer a 9- and 10-night sailing, respectively, that starts with island hopping from Oahu, Kailua-Kona and an overnight in Maui for two full days of adventure. In October 2023, Ovation will offer a 9-night cruise from the Pacific Northwest to Hawaii, complete with three island visits and an overnight in Maui. Sailing from Honolulu to Vancouver, Radiance will welcome guests to an 11-night cruise beginning with an overnight in Oahu and then continuing with visits to Maui and both the leeward and windward coasts of the Big Island, before crossing the Pacific Ocean.

Cunard and Pacific Symphony Announce New Partnership
Cunard and Orange County's acclaimed Pacific Symphony are embarking on a new partnership, with Cunard's exclusive sponsorship of the organization's premier Box Circle Club.

As the official cruise line of the Pacific Symphony, Cunard's support will enhance the organization's mission to engage, inspire and serve Orange County through exceptional music performances, education and community programming. Just as the Pacific Symphony's vision is to lead a classical music renaissance in the community through creativity and innovation, Cunard's credo mirrors those core values by providing an elegant and distinctive ocean travel experience featuring the line's renowned White Star Service, and providing guests unique special event opportunities.

"We are elated to partner with the Pacific Symphony, a beloved, cultural gem in Orange County."

Founded in 1978, Pacific Symphony began as a collaboration between California State University, Fullerton, and North Orange County community leaders led by Marcy Mulville. The Symphony has now been led by Music Director Carl St.Clair for over 30 years and has been the resident orchestra at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall for 15 years. Currently in its 43rd season, the Symphony is the largest orchestra formed in the U.S. in the last 50 years and is recognized as a Tier 1 orchestra making strides on both the national and international scene. In April 2018, Pacific Symphony made its Carnegie Hall debut as one of two orchestras invited to perform during a celebration of composer Philip Glass' 80th Birthday.

Cunard has long supported and been passionate about classical music, featuring musical ensembles each year on flagship Queen Mary 2. Most notably is the much-anticipated, annual performances of Sir Anthony Inglis and the UK's National Symphony Orchestra.

The partnership with Pacific Symphony provides Cunard a rare opportunity for west coast cruise and classical music enthusiasts to learn more about the line's sailings in the region, as Cunard increases the fleet's presence in North America; Queen Elizabeth will be sailing north through Los Angeles en route to Alaska in late May, followed by her second Alaska season commencing in early June 2022.

"We are elated to partner with the Pacific Symphony, a beloved, cultural gem in Orange County," said Jamie Paiko, Vice President, Sales, Cunard North America. "Our guests are passionate about classical music and we hope to have the future opportunity of bringing the Symphony on board a voyage for everyone to enjoy. We are eager to introduce Pacific Symphony and their patrons to Cunard's signature voyages, and are excited to support such an important organization in Southern California."

"Pacific Symphony is delighted to welcome Cunard as the exclusive sponsor of our Box Circle Club, and we are gratified that they have joined us as the Symphony official cruise line. Cunard's guests and Pacific Symphony's audiences share much in common in their love for the very finest in art, culture, and world-class experiences," said John Forsyte, President & CEO, Pacific Symphony.

Cunard and Pacific Symphony are evolving their partnership and look forward to announcing developments in the New Year.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 18.59 + 2.37%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 72.259 + 3.38%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.83 - 5.68%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 20.03 - 0.94%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Beginning in March of 1989, Cunard's QE2 was out of service for 72 days. Why was she out of service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the last cruise ship completed for the Home Lines and what happened to her?

Answer - The last ship completed for Home Lines was Homeric completed in 1986 in Papenburg. She later was stretched and and became Westerdam for Holland America Lines. She also sailed as Costa Europa for Costa Lines. courtesy of Hugh Chandler, Stamford, CT


Cruise News - November 29, 2021

Princess Honors Women of The Explorers Club Serving as Godmothers of Enchanted Princess
Celebrating the inauguration of a new cruise ship is a time-honored, maritime tradition and Princess Cruises today announced details about the naming ceremony of Enchanted Princess, which is showcased in an original production entitled, "Our World, Enchanted," scheduled to broadcast globally at 1:00 pm PST / 4:00 pm ET on Dec. 13, 2021, on Princess Cruises' YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Hosted by Princess Cruises Celebrations Ambassador Jill Whelan and Enchanted Princess Cruise Director Dan Falconer, the 45-minute show introduces viewers to the innovative features and amenities of the new MedallionClass ship and culminates in the official naming to welcome the ship into the Princess global fleet. It also honors three members of The Explorers Club who serve as the godmothers of the newest ship in the Princess fleet.

"This unique approach to the naming of Enchanted Princess honors our legacy of bringing people together and creating lasting memories on board our cruises by letting us share the excitement of the ceremony with more people than ever and giving Princess fans a more intimate look at our newest MedallionClass ship," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "It also allows us to recognize the contributions our godmothers – Captain Lynn Danaher, Dr. Vicki Ferrini and Jenifer Austin – have made to ocean conservation and stewardship, as the ocean provides our livelihood and serves as the home for our more than 25,000 employees who serve millions of guests while they explore the world on a cruise vacation with us each year."

Since its inception in 1904, members of The Explorers Club have traversed the earth, the seas, the skies, and even the moon, on expeditions of exploration. This multidisciplinary, professional society is dedicated to the advancement of field research, scientific exploration and resource conservation. The three godmothers of Enchanted Princess have been recognized for their achievements in expeditions, oceanography and mapping the oceans and they include:

Captain Lynn Danaher
Captain Danaher has been a United States Coast Guard Licensed Master and Dive Master since 1994. She is a founding member and president of the Pacific Islands Research Institute since 2008 and co-founder of the Friday Harbor Film Festival since 2013. She joined The Explorers Club in 2005 and has served as chair of the Pacific Northwest Chapter for two years and the Board of Directors for six years. She has completed eight Explorers Club Flag Expeditions. Captain Danaher is an officer of The Explorers Club, serving as Vice President: Mission Programming and Chair of the Headquarters Renovation Committee. She is also a licensed Contractor in the State of Hawaii.

Dr. Vicki Ferrini
After completing her PhD in Coastal Oceanography, Dr. Ferrini extended her research interests from the coast to the hidden deep-sea world. The majority of the global ocean is unmapped, unexplored and uncharacterized, and her work aims to help solve that. A Senior Research Scientist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Dr. Ferrini leads several efforts focused on making sure data are preserved and can be accessed by scientists and the public alike. She is committed to building a vibrant international community of collaborators, and works with colleagues around the world to help build bridges between people and the ocean through data. Dr. Ferrini joined the Explorers Club in 2021 when she was selected as one of the Explorers Club 50 – fifty explorers changing the world.

Jenifer Austin
Jenifer Austin spent nearly 14 years at Google, where she co-led the team that launched the first virtual map of the ocean in the company's consumer products Google Earth and Google Maps and also launched Underwater Streetview in Google Maps and Global Fishing Watch. She then started Oceanagenda.com to help bring together diverse groups to support holistic ocean conservation and stewardship. She is a scuba diver. A fellow of the Explorers Club (FN'14), she has served on the W40 Women's Committee, speaking as a part of the Women of the Deep and hosting a panel in its finale Pathfinders Symposium. Austin is a mother of two children.

"Our World, Enchanted" naming ceremony program includes appearances by newly appointed Princess Cruises President John Padgett, Group President Jan Swartz, Commodore Nick Nash and provides a look into the beautifully designed interiors, elegantly appointed accommodations, world-class entertainment, gourmet dining and craft cocktails available on Enchanted Princess.

The 145,000-ton, 3,660-guest ship represents an evolution of the design platform used for her sister ships – Royal Princess (2013), Regal Princess (2014), Majestic Princess (2017) and Sky Princess (2019) – offering an elevation of spectacular style and elegance that is distinguished by Princess. The ship's inaugural cruise season began Nov. 10, with various 10-day Southern Caribbean itineraries, sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale.

Notable features and entertainment offerings found onboard Enchanted Princess, include:

• Sky Suites – First introduced on Sky Princess (2019), the new luxury Sky Suites offer inclusive amenities, attentive service and a dedicated Suite Experience Manager, luxurious accommodations for up to five guests and a 1,000 square-foot balcony featuring 270-degree views from the cruise line's largest balcony at sea.

• 25 Bars & Restaurants – With extensive al fresco dining options, Enchanted Princess features Bistro Sur La Mer by Three Michelin Star Chef Emmanuel Renaut, Sabatini's Italian Trattoria with its own Pasta Room, Crown Grill Steakhouse and Bar, Crooners, Chef's Table Lumiere, Gigi's Pizzeria, The Salty Dog Gastropub, Gelato, three beautifully appointed Main Dining Rooms and more.

• Aquatic Relaxation - In addition to multiple hot tubs, Enchanted boasts two deep-tank pools, adjacent to the top-deck bar. At the ship's aft end, the infinity-style Wakeview pool and bar offer spectacular views of the horizon, while the Retreat Pool offers a quiet oasis.

• Fan Favorite Original Production Shows – First debuted onboard Sky Princess to rave reviews, Enchanted Princess showcases Rock Opera, featuring incredible costumes inspired by glamorous avant garde fashion with a musical soundtrack spanning classic rock, opera and musical theater. In addition, 5-SKIES with its technologically enhanced production features a virtual gaming world, spectacular digital effects and acrobatics, intricate sets and contemporary music for one of the cruise line's most visually advanced shows ever.

• Take Five – First debuted on Sky Princess, Take Five showcases vintage footage, iconic imagery and intimate conversations that transport you to the heart of the jazz era. Guests can enjoy nightly live jazz while sipping cocktail favorites from Master Mixologist Rob Floyd and specialty gin cocktails crafted exclusively for Take Five.

Enchanted Princess also offers signature Princess venues and amenities including the Piazza, Lotus Spa, The Sanctuary, Movies Under the Stars, Princess Live!, Vegas-Style Casino, The Shops of Princess, Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Center and Discovery at SEA programs.

Carnival’s BOLT Roller Coaster Recognized With “Best of What’s New” Award by Popular Science Magazine
Proving that the first roller coaster at sea is both fun and a feat of modern engineering, Popular Science magazine has recognized Carnival Cruise Line with its “Best of What’s New” engineering award for the innovation and design work that resulted in the July 2021 debut of BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea on board the line’s flagship Mardi Gras.

Since 1988, Popular Science annually reviews thousands of new products and innovations and chooses the top 100 winners across 10 categories. To win, a product or technology must represent a significant step forward in its category.

“Normal roller coasters use gravity to send thrill-seekers zooming and looping. But if you want to build a ride on a cruise ship—where stable, level ground is far from guaranteed—you have to get creative,” according to Popular Science.

“As you’re whipping around the Mardi Gras’ funnel while riding BOLT, I doubt many people are thinking about how we got the roller coaster built, but this recognition from Popular Science underscores the tremendous work that went into making this happen,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “While ultimately, we’re about providing new ways for our guests to have fun, we’re also honored and appreciative of this incredible recognition for our team.”

A marvel in maritime engineering, BOLT is an all-electric roller coaster encompassing an elevated track across Mardi Gras’ upper decks with 800 feet of exhilarating twists, drops and turns, including hairpin turn around the ship’s iconic funnel. Riders can achieve speeds of up to 40 miles per hour as they enjoy views to the sea 187 feet below.

Established in 1872, Popular Science is one of America’s oldest and most trusted magazine brands with a legacy of bringing readers groundbreaking innovations and discoveries.

Sister ships to Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration and Carnival Jubilee will also feature BOLT: The Ultimate Sea Coaster when they debut in late 2022 in Miami and in 2023 in Galveston, Tex., respectively.

Oceania Cruises Debuts Four New Private Dining Experiences
Oceania Cruises, the world's leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line, revealed four new culinary experiences for guests to enjoy in Privée, the private dining room aboard the line's acclaimed Marina and Riviera, as a part of its OceaniaNEXT program.

"We're the world's leading culinary-focused cruise line, so we never stop exploring, creating, and innovating. Privée has achieved almost legendary status over the years and is in great demand among our guests who are continually seeking not just new but celebratory dining experiences to enrich their travels," said Bob Binder, President & CEO of Oceania Cruises.

Offering the most exclusive private dining experience at sea, Privée may be reserved for a single party of up to ten privileged guests per evening. Lavishly decorated with oversized white leather thrones, a one-of-a-kind custom-built table by famed architect Dakota Jackson set upon Ferrari-red carpeting and illuminated by a golden Venini chandelier, Privée transforms every aspect of dining into a sensory experience.

Privée now offers guests a total of five scintillating culinary experiences to choose from with a new Degustation Menu, Wine Pairing Menu, Best of Oceania Cruises Menu, Best of Polo & Toscana Menu and even an Executive Chef's Menu with a specially curated selection of gourmet dishes from the onboard culinary team.

A sampling of the Degustation Menu includes:

Amuses-Bouches

Soufflé au Fromage
Cheese Soufflé

Risotto de Homard
Lobster Risotto

Bar en Croûte et Sauce Beurre Blanc
Sea Bass Filet Baked in Puff Pastry Crust with Beurre Blanc

or

Filet de Bœuf Rôti, Sauce Périgourdine
Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Foie Gras and Truffle Sauce

Brie de Meaux aux Noix et Laitue
Nut-Crusted Brie de Meaux with Boston Lettuce Hearts

Mille-Feuilles aux Framboises
Raspberry Mille-Feuille Prepared Tableside

Petits Fours

A sample Executive Chef's Menu might include such delicacies as:

Amuses-Bouches

Potato Fritters, Servuga Caviar, Vodka-Lime Cream

Maine Lobster Ravioli, Vegetable Primavera, Basil Foam

Roasted Teriyaki Black Cod with Sesame-Togarishi Crust

Parmesan Crusted Beef Tenderloin, Mole Negro Demi-Glace,
Truffled Semolina Gnocchi, Glazed Butternut Squash

Chocolate Cecile

Petits Fours & Macaroons

The next phase of enhancements will be unveiled in the coming months, highlighting another new facet of the guest experience.

Original Stage Adaptation of ‘The Little Mermaid’ Headlines All-New Live Entertainment Exclusively Aboard the Disney Wish
Disney Cruise Line has unveiled new details about the two brand-new theatrical productions coming to its newest ship just days after the shows were first announced during a presentation by Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro at Destination D23 on Saturday.

Setting sail in summer 2022, the Disney Wish will debut two original stage spectaculars in its state-of-the-art Walt Disney Theatre: an innovative, Broadway-style take on Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “The Little Mermaid” and an embarkation day celebration helmed by Captain Minnie, Goofy and an all-star cast of Disney and Pixar characters. Up on deck, guests will rock out to an all-new pirate deck party complete with fan-favorite fireworks at sea.

Stunning Stage Shows at the Walt Disney Theatre

A hallmark of the Disney Cruise Line experience is the unparalleled live entertainment performed in the Walt Disney Theatre. On the Disney Wish, this elegant 1,274-seat show palace will evoke an enchanted forest inspired by scenes from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Fantasia,” with orchestra and balcony seating spanning three decks. The theater will be equipped with state-of the-art technology, including the most robust projection mapping capabilities of any Disney ship and a Dolby Atmos 3D audio system — a first for the cruise industry — to create a transformative theatrical experience rivaling anything on land or at sea.

A Treasure Retold – ‘Disney The Little Mermaid’

“Disney The Little Mermaid” will be an original Broadway-style stage adaptation of the renowned 1989 Disney Animation film developed exclusively for the Disney Wish. During this one-of-a-kind theatrical production, audiences will rediscover the iconic scenes, acclaimed music and beloved characters of “The Little Mermaid” while experiencing the story like never before.

In this modern-day retelling, the curtain will rise on an enchanted treasure chest at the moment it is discovered by a group of storytellers, led by a special young woman who has the power to unlock its magic. As they uncover the whozits and whatzits galore hidden within the trunk, the storytellers will take on the roles of Ariel, Ursula, Prince Eric, Sebastian, Flounder and more, bringing to life the immersive undersea world right before guests’ eyes. They’ll put their own contemporary spin on the timeless story of a young woman’s search for independence, love and a place in the world.

The creative minds at Disney Cruise Line have joined forces with a team of top Broadway talent to bring this treasured tale to life through an elaborate, whimsical and resonant storytelling experience that will offer audiences a brand-new way to be part of Ariel’s world.

“Disney The Little Mermaid” will feature innovative theatrical design, dazzling special effects, artistic choreography, and a reimagined script and score that will surprise and delight guests of all ages.

New orchestrations of favorite songs like “Part of Your World,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and “Under the Sea” will enchant audiences with moving ensemble pieces and breathtaking production numbers. Unexpectedly playful scenic designs and state-of-the-art video projections will transform the Walt Disney Theatre into 360-degree undersea environment. Contemporary, interpretive costuming will reflect the show’s unique blending of a modern setting and a mystical, fantastical story. Cutting-edge puppetry will animate fantastical sea creatures and characters such as Sebastian, Flounder, Scuttle, and Flotsam and Jetsam in never-before-seen ways. “‘The Little Mermaid’ is a timeless story, one that transcends generations,” said Shelby Jiggetts-Tivony, vice president, creative and advanced development, Disney Live Entertainment. “Our hope is that this new stage adaptation aboard the Disney Wish continues that incredible legacy, not by simply reenacting the elements that make the original film so powerful, but by reinterpreting it in a way that resonates with the audience sitting in the theater each night.”

Caribbean Princess Welcomes Guests Back Onboard
Enthusiastic cruisers set sail today aboard Caribbean Princess from Ft. Lauderdale for a vacation to the Eastern Caribbean, marking the return to service of the next Princess Cruises ship.

The cruise ship is sailing on roundtrip voyages from Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale to the tropical Eastern and Western Caribbean, visiting popular destinations such as St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Princess Cays, the cruise line's private island resort in the Bahamas. Seven-day cruises are combinable for 14-day Eastern and Western Adventurer voyages.

"Caribbean Princess marks our eighth cruise ship to return to service and our teammates are thrilled to be serving our guests back onboard," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "This ship was our very first vessel to offer the innovative Princess MedallionClass Experience and features modernized venues and newly imagined spaces like The Reef Outdoor Splash Zone that offers a tremendous setting for the entire family."

All guests sailing on Eastern Caribbean itineraries visit Princess Cays private island resort for a day of fun, sun, water activities and a beach BBQ, ranked among the "Top Cruise Line Private Island Destinations" by Cruise Critic. The island even offers cabanas with air conditioning and bar service. MedallionNet Wi-Fi featuring reliable and fast connectivity is also available on the island for cruisers who wish to take advantage of an oceanfront office for the day or to share photos and videos with friends and family back home.

Recently modernized to appeal to families of all sizes and age groups, Caribbean Princess immerses guests in the destinations the ship visits offering unique themed food and drink offerings. Camp Discovery, the youth and teen center, offers younger cruisers the opportunity to make new friends, hang out and engage in enriching activities.

Favorite family features onboard include The Reef Outdoor Splash Zone with shade, sun and water activities for the kids; Movies Under the Stars showcasing first-fun movies, sports events and more; and fine and quick-service dining options appealing to all tastes and preferences.

Princess Cruises delivers the ultimate in effortless, personalized cruising featuring the world-class dining and entertainment Princess is renowned for, all elevated with the Princess MedallionClass Experience. On all ships in the Princess fleet, it begins with the Medallion, a quarter-sized, wearable device that enables everything from expedited contactless boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever guests need, delivered directly to them, wherever they are on the ship. In addition, guests can share their favorite cruise moments using MedallionNet, the best WiFi at sea, as well as stay connected with friends and family back home, work remotely anywhere on the ship, quickly post content and stream favorite movies and shows.

Princess Cruises sailings are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination. All vaccinated guests must also produce a negative, medically-observed COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within two days of their embarkation on all Princess sailings.

Stock Watch

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 18.16 - 10.67%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 69.89 - 11.83%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.88 - 22.81%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 20.22 - 12.09%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the last cruise ship completed for the Home Lines and what happened to her?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which cruise ship sported two names (her official name and her marketing name) on her hull as she sailed the Caribbean and elsewhere during the mid-1990s?

Answer - I believe it was the Vasco de Gamma. The name on the bow still read this, but the brochure referred her as Seawind Crown. courtesy of Louy Lative, Portsmouth, UK.


Cruise News - November 22, 2021

Seabourn Ovation Arrives In The U.S. For The First Time Ever
Fresh from crossing the Atlantic Ocean, Seabourn Ovation made its maiden arrival in the U.S., sailing into PortMiami today. The 600-guest ultra-luxury ship will use Miami as homeport for a series of voyages exploring the Caribbean, Panama Canal and destinations in Mexico and Central America from November 2021 through March 2022.

"A first-time arrival is always special for any Seabourn ship, and Seabourn Ovation's first visit to the U.S. and Miami will be a great start to an exciting season for our newest ship amid the tropical beauty of the Caribbean and Central America," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "Miami offers an easily accessible port for North American guests and those coming from Europe, so it will be a perfect getaway as winter settles in across those regions of the world."

Caribbean
Seabourn Ovation's Caribbean series will start with three 11-day Gems of the Leeward Islands voyages round trip from Miami in November and December 2021. The voyages will visit iconic destinations including San Juan, Puerto Rico; the hidden harbors of Dominica; St. Johns, Antigua and Barbuda; Saint Kitts and Nevis; and the Great Harbour of Jost Van Dyke, the smallest of the main British Virgin Islands, which still looks as it likely did a century or more ago. Scheduled departure dates are November 18, November 29, and December 10, 2021.

Among many immersive experiences for Seabourn Ovation's guests to anticipate in the Caribbean is the line's popular Caviar in the Surf program, with uniformed team members plunging into the warm, clear waters and emerging with iced Champagne and caviar served via a surfboard bar. There will also be a guest-favorite Marina Day, complete with complimentary watersports available for guests to enjoy from a beach or the unique, retractable Marina platform on the stern of the ship.

Panama Canal and Central America
Following Seabourn Ovation's Caribbean voyages, the ship will explore the Panama Canal and Central America from December 2021 to March 2022. The first is scheduled to depart Miami on December 21, 2021 for a 21-Day Holiday Panama Canal sailing, with visits to Aruba and Curacao on its journey to the Panama Canal – followed by destinations along the Pacific Coasts of Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico before arriving in Los Angeles on January 11, 2022. The 19-day return voyage, departing the same day, will include visits to Colombia and Jamaica, arriving at Miami on January 30, 2022.

Seabourn Ovation will then set sail to Central America with four voyages scheduled round trip from Miami starting on January 30, 2022. Guests will have ample opportunities to explore amazing tropical destinations and sites of historic and cultural wonder, including the remnants of ancient Mayan civilizations in Mexico, as well as Costa Rica, Belize and Panama. All of these voyages will also include a partial transit of the Panama Canal.

Upon completion of its Central American series, Seabourn Ovation will depart Miami one final time on March 27, 2022, bound for Europe on a 13-Day Atlantic Spring crossing, with arrival in Lisbon, Portugal on April 9, 2022. The ship will then return to the Canary Islands and visit Morocco and Tangier during a 14-day voyage bound for Monte Carlo and the start of its spring and summer season in Europe.

Like the rest of the Seabourn ships in the fleet, Seabourn Ovation maintains the line's high ratio of space per guest, enabling highly personalized service by close to one staff member for each guest on board. Designed by hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany, Seabourn Ovation features modern design elements and innovations in keeping with Seabourn's reputation for understated elegance.

Nieuw Statendam Returns to South Florida Cruising
Holland America Line's Nieuw Statendam departed Fort Lauderdale, Florida, today on its first cruise since the industrywide pause last year. The ship marks the fifth Holland America Line vessel to reenter service, joining Rotterdam, Koningsdam, Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam.

To commemorate the occasion, Holland America Line held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the terminal to open embarkation, and team members greeted guests with flag-waving fanfare as they boarded the ship. Nieuw Statendam set sail on a seven-day western Caribbean itinerary that will visit Nassau, Bahamas; Ocho Rios and Port Royal, Jamaica; and Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's private island in the Bahamas.

Click to Tweet: .@HALcruises' Nieuw Statendam returns to South Florida #cruising today, kicking off its #Caribbean season. The Pinnacle Class ship marks fifth for the cruise line to reenter service.

"Today is another milestone in our return to service, with Nieuw Statendam starting operation just in time for Thanksgiving, and we have a lot to be thankful for this year that we're getting back in the water," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "Today is a great day for Holland America Line, and our team members can't wait to welcome guests on board."

Nieuw Statendam will spend from November through April in the Caribbean on cruises ranging from seven to 11 days, all roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades. Guests looking for a longer getaway can embark on a Collectors' Voyage — combined back-to-back itineraries that offer an in-depth exploration covering more than one part of the region.

Every Caribbean cruise includes a call at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's award-winning private Bahamian island. This quaint sanctuary has evolved into a tropical playground for cruise guests and features the white-sand beaches; two-story villas and private cabanas; delicious dining venues like Lobster Shack; a children's waterpark; and a variety of fun-filled tours for nature lovers, adventurous travelers and explorers.

Holland America Line has been homeporting from Port Everglades since the 1990s. Operationally, each ship visit contributes $364,000 directly to the local economy in provisioning (fuel, food, flowers, piano tuning, supplies, etc.), port taxes and spending. Holland America Line works with nearly 100 South Florida vendors who supply the company and its ships with goods and services.

Royal Caribbean Makes Hollywood Comeback
Royal Caribbean International is back in California after more than a decade, and it’s rolling out the red carpet for families and travelers of all ages looking to get away on a memorable vacation. The cruise line’s bold and adventure-packed Navigator of the Seas set sail from Los Angeles today, beginning its highly anticipated year-round season of 3-night weekend to 4- and 5-night weekday cruises to Catalina Island, California, and the Mexican Riviera.

Now cruising from the City of Angels, Navigator premieres the ultimate getaway that combines adventures ashore, in destinations like Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and on board – from the longest waterslide at sea to the industry’s first standalone blow-dry bar.

Guests who cruise on Navigator can enjoy a $115 million series of enhancements introduced on board the ship in 2019. There’s a star-studded lineup of never-before-seen experiences and fan favorites, including:

• Resort-style pool – Kids and adults alike enjoy Caribbean vibes from day to night, thanks to vibrant colors, a variety of seating – from in-pool loungers to casitas – live music, and the three-level poolside bar known as The Lime & Coconut.

• The Blaster – The longest aqua coaster at sea propels thrill seekers through more than 800 feet of dips, drops and turns.

• Riptide – The industry’s only headfirst mat racer waterslide joins The Blaster and Navigator’s lineup of top-deck thrills. A highlight, the exhilarating finish through a translucent tube that goes off the side of the ship makes for inspiring ocean views.

• To Dry For – The first standalone blow-dry bar at sea. For a quick fix to seamlessly transition from a day out to getting ready for a night out on the town, there is a menu of services that includes blowouts to hairstyling.

• The Bamboo Room – Royal Caribbean’s take on the tiki-chic bar and lounge serves up spice-infused handcrafted drinks and shareable bites.

• Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade – Families can enjoy gameday classics, 50 big-screen TVs, tabletop games, classic arcade hits alongside bar bites, ice-cold beer and zero-proof cocktails for the kids.

• Adventure Ocean and teens spaces – Kids 11 and under have a redesigned venue that sports an open format made for free play and where young travelers can easily switch between types of activity. Teens have an enhanced dedicated space with games, movies, music and more in The Living Room and a private outdoor patio called The Back Deck.

• Royal Escape Room: The Observatorium – A challenge for teams of families, friends or fellow travelers to solve mind-bending puzzles before time runs out

Also new to Navigator as part of its major makeover are Hooked Seafood, serving up fresh New England-inspired dishes like just-shucked oysters, Johnny Rockets Express, Starbucks and Jamie’s Italian, with a menu of rustic Italian recipes – including fresh pastas – from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Many returning favorites take the stage as well, including the FlowRider surf simulator, rock climbing wall, the Studio B ice-skating rink, Far East flavors at Izumi and a new mini golf course.

The biggest, boldest vacation along the West Coast, Navigator features something for everyone to spend quality time together and on their own on a short getaway. And for vacationers looking to take more time off, they can choose from several 7-night sailings that visit beach-lovers paradises like Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan, Mexico.

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth Embarks on 17 New International Voyages in Early 2022
Cunard announces 17 new international voyages, sailing on Queen Elizabeth between February 20 and June 21, 2022.

Embarking on the new program in early 2022, Queen Elizabeth will visit 32 ports in 12 countries, spending time in the unparalleled beauty of Norway's fjords; island hopping in Spain and Portugal; cruising through the Mediterranean; and finally transiting the Panama Canal onwards to Alaska. The programme includes six overnight port calls and three late evening departures. Extended time in Tromso and Narvik offers the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights. A call in Amsterdam on a four-night short break brings an opportunity to explore the city's UNESCO-listed canals by night. Other highlight calls include Genoa, Ibiza, Manzanillo, Grand Turk, San Francisco, before reaching the icy landscapes of Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park and Hubbard Glacier.

"We're thrilled to offer this exciting new Escapes Programme to guests who might long for a voyage that promises a sense of freedom, luxury and style," says Cunard President Simon Palethorpe. "For cruise afficionados or those enjoying their first taste of the vibrant and inviting world of Queen Elizabeth, together with our renowned White Star Service, this program has something for everyone."

Queen Elizabeth 2022 Escapes - Key Voyages

The Canary Islands (Q206N)
This 14-night escape will whisk guests to sun-filled shores and cities teeming with history. Stops in The Canary Islands, Cadiz and Lisbon are complemented by an overnight port call in Funchal, Madeira. Departs Southampton February 20, 2022.

Norway & Northern Lights (Q208N)
Timed to offer guests maximum potential of seeing the Northern Lights, this 12-night voyage will take them into the heart of Norway's fjords, pausing where the aurora borealis most often appears. Departs Southampton March 18, 2022.

Amsterdam (Q209P)
This four-night voyage from Southampton calls overnight in Amsterdam, giving guests the opportunity to experience the city's museums, galleries and canals by day and its highly rated nightlife after dark. Departs Southampton March 30, 2022.

Western Mediterranean (Q211P)v The enchanting old town of Dalt Vila in Ibiza and Rome's historic centre (from Civitavecchia) are two of the standout sights to savour on this 17-night roundtrip voyage, sailing from Southampton. Departs Southampton April 15, 2022.

Westbound Transatlantic Crossing (Q212N)
The Galician port of Vigo with its old town and 'golden mile of art', and an overnight stay in Port Canaveral are highlights to explore on this 12-night Transatlantic Crossing to Fort Lauderdale. Departs Southampton May 2, 2022.

Panama Canal & Alaska (Q212G)
This sensational 43-night voyage offers an itinerary to remember, whisking guests westbound across the Atlantic to the sand beaches of Grand Turk and Aruba, before revealing Alaska's tidewater glaciers. Departs Southampton May 2, 2022.

Paul Gauguin Cruises Announces 2023 Voyages
Paul Gauguin Cruises announces Paul Gauguin's new 2023 schedule featuring Tahiti, French Polynesia, Fiji, and South Pacific itineraries.

The Gauguin will be showcasing its most sought-after itineraries in 2023: the 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands, 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus, 11-night Cook Islands & Society Islands, and 14-night Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands.

The Gauguin will also be returning to Fiji in 2023, offering 13-night Fiji, Tonga, Cook & Society Islands itineraries. These comprehensive voyages follow in the wake of explorers, encompassing the exquisite Society Islands, home waters of The Gauguin, and the Cook Islands with its unique culture and exquisite lagoons. Other highlights include sailing across the International Date Line, a rare visit to the Kingdom of Tonga, and the stunning Fijian islands. Ports of call on the voyages are Papeete, Tahiti; Moorea, Society Islands; Taha'a (Motu Mahana), Society Islands; Bora Bora, Society Islands; Aitutaki, Cook Islands; Vava'u, Tonga; Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji; Suva, Viti Levu, Fiji; Beqa Island, Fiji; and Lautoka, Fiji. A 16-night Fiji to Bali (or reverse) voyage from Lautoka, Fiji and continues on to visit Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu; Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands; Samarai Island, Papua New Guinea; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Thursday Island (Jan. 21, 2023 sailing only), Australia; Dili, Timor-Leste; At Sea; Komodo Island, Indonesia; and Benoa, Bali, Indonesia.

The Gauguin underwent an extensive renovation in February of 2021. In addition to the ship's staterooms and suites, Studio Jean Philippe Nuel redesigned the ship's public spaces including its Le Grand Salon, restaurants, piano bar, La Palette Lounge, spa and salon, fitness center, boutique, pool deck, and reception area. A reading nook was also added to Deck 5, Deck 6 is now boasting a digital museum featuring over 150 of Paul Gauguin's pieces, as well as updates to the ship's sound and lighting systems.

Designed specifically to sail the pristine lagoons of these islands, The Gauguin provides an up-close, authentic experience of the South Seas and offers an elegant yet casual ambiance with luxurious accommodations, exceptional service, gourmet dining, trademark Polynesian hospitality, private beach retreats, and extraordinary all-inclusive value.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 20.33 - 8.83%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 79.27 - 7.03%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.14 + 34.12%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 23.00 - 9.84%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which cruise ship sported two names (her official name and her marketing name) on her hull as she sailed the Caribbean and elsewhere during the mid-1990s?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
When Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas was out on her sea trials she sported a unique entertainment option on her aft decks. This entertainment option never made it past the sea trials. What was this high flying entertainment option?

Answer - It was a blimp that was supposed to offer rides to passengers but it was lost during the sea trial so RCI decided that it would be too risky to use. courtesy of Ronnie Russo, Tucson, Airzona


Cruise News - November 15, 2021

Azamara Announces New Five-Month World Voyage Aboard the Cruise Line's Newest Ship, Azamara Onward
Azamara announcd this week the launch of its new World Voyage aboard the company's newest ship, Azamara Onward. Starting on January 5, 2024, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the comprehensive sailing offers immersive and intimate experiences to the World's Wonders. The 155-night journey will reach over 40 countries in six continents with 22 overnight stays and 27 late nights in port, giving travelers ample time to fully explore the rich culture and history of each destination.

"We are thrilled to finally unveil our World Voyage. With opportunities to visit the Seven Wonders of the World and other iconic sites such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos, and the Black Sea, we are allowing our guests to check off all their bucket list destinations in one sailing and to connect with more countries and cultures than ever before," says Carol Cabezas, President of Azamara. "Not only are we taking our guests further, but we are also encouraging them to travel deeper with our unique overnight land experiences, designed to bring travelers to the heart of the destination and giving them enough time to appreciate its culture."

Highlights of immersive experiences of the World's Wonders:

• Great Wall of China (three-night land excursion): Travelers will become fully immersed in Beijing with a visit to the Great Wall of China, a guided tour through the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, and a rickshaw ride through the hutongs, or narrow alleys dating back to the 16th century.

• Great Pyramids of Giza (shore excursion): Guests are driven to Egypt's largest city, Cairo. It's here at the Giza Plateau where the Great Pyramids are found, the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still in existence. An Egyptologist will guide guests through this mortuary complex to the mysterious Sphinx. In addition, travelers will explore other sites such as the Museum of Antiquities and cruise down the Nile river.

• Chichén Itzá (shore excursion): Guests will fly over Caribbean waters and the Mayan Riviera's tropical jungle to Chichén Itzá, where a tour guide will lead guests through the ruins and immerse travelers in the ancient Mayan way of life.

• Petra (shore excursion): Guests will walk through the Siq, the narrow, winding gorge that leads to the mysterious desert city of Petra, Jordan. Known as the "Rose Red City" for the color of stone from which it was carved, Petra is home to ancient royal tombs, Colonnaded Street, and the Temple of Qasr al-Bint.

• Taj Mahal (three-night land excursion): Travelers will fly to New Delhi for sunrise and sunset visits to the Taj Mahal. Guests will also explore Agra Fort, the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty until 1638, and I'timad-ud-Daulah tomb, the Taj Mahal's precursor.

• Christ the Redeemer (six-night land excursion): Travelers will enjoy a full exploration of Rio de Janeiro, including a visit to Corcovado to view the towering Christ the Redeemer statue, a cable car ride to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain, and a trip to Iguazú Falls to see both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides of the one of the world's largest waterfalls.

• Colosseum (shore excursion): Guests will travel back in time to the world of gladiatorial glory inside the Colosseum. A local guide will lead the small group through the 2000-year-old amphitheater that once seated up to 55,000 spectators.

Other immersive overnight experiences available on the World Voyage include a stay on a Great Barrier Reef island, complete with glass bottom boat excursions and snorkeling to see the unique wildlife up close; a journey through the cobblestoned streets of Transylvania, Romania to learn about the life of Vlad the Impaler, who inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula; and an exploration of the centuries-old rock-cut churches and whimsical "fairy chimneys" of Cappadocia, Turkey with accommodation in a cave hotel.

Dr. Lucille O'Neal Named Carnival Radiance Godmother
Dr. Lucille O'Neal – author, philanthropist and mother of Carnival Cruise Line's Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O'Neal – has been named godmother of the totally transformed Carnival Radiance, set to debut in December following a $200 million dry dock.

Dr. O'Neal will preside over the ship's invitation-only naming ceremony taking place in Long Beach, Calif. prior to its inaugural cruise Dec. 13.

During the festivities, Lucille and Shaquille will cut the ribbon to officially open Big Chicken, the second seagoing restaurant created by Shaquille, featuring dishes based on his family's recipes.

Lucille is an accomplished speaker who donates her time and talent to a wide range of charitable organizations, including serving on the board of the Orlando Ovarian Center Alliance, and president and co-founder of the Mothers of Professional Basketball Players.

She also established the Odessa Chambliss Center for Health Equity on the campus of Bethune Cookman University (BCU) in honor of her late mother, Odessa Chambliss, and focuses on health disparities, social determinants of health, and social justice.

The author of the inspirational biography, "Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go," Lucille O'Neal is a shining example of the importance of education, resuming her studies after raising her children to graduate cum laude with a bachelor's degree from BCU and completing a graduate program from the University of Phoenix. For these efforts, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from BCU.

"When Shaquille was named Chief Fun Officer a couple of years ago, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be named godmother of a cruise ship!" said Lucille. "To think that my name will be forever associated with Carnival Radiance and that I'm joining other esteemed women who have served as a Carnival godmother is truly an honor."

"Lucille's longstanding commitment to caring for others is a reflection of what we look for in a Godmother and as the mother of our amazing Chief Fun Officer, Shaquille O'Neal, we also know she's got some fun in her DNA so she's the perfect choice for godmother of this beautiful ship," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

New offerings added to Carnival Radiance during its bow-to-stern makeover include Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse created by Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri; the Heroes Tribute Bar saluting those that serve in the Armed Forces; Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant; Bonsai Sushi; and the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub. All of the ship's public spaces have been transformed - including the water park, youth facilities, retail shops, Cloud 9 Spa and a new Liquid Lounge home to Carnival's award-winning Playlist Productions shows.

Carnival Radiance's Long Beach-based schedule includes three-day voyages to Ensenada and four-day sailings calling at Ensenada and Catalina Island. She joins Carnival Panorama operating week-long Mexican Riviera cruises and Carnival Miracle sailing four- and five-day Mexico voyages.

Celebrated Paratriathlete Names New Royal Caribbean Ship, Odyssey of the Seas
It's official: Royal Caribbean International celebrated its newest game-changing ship, Odyssey of the Seas, during the ship's naming ceremony in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday, Nov. 13. The Caribbean-inspired occasion culminated in the moment Odyssey's Godmother and the first Bahamian paratriathlete to compete in the Paralympic Games qualifiers, Erin Brown, bestowed a blessing of safekeeping on the ship and all those who sail on it for decades to come.

Brown was joined on board by Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain and Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley. The occasion also marked a historic moment for the decades-long Godmother tradition as Brown becomes the cruise line's first Bahamian Godmother.

"Today, we get to show the world what imagination and determination look like when they come together," said Fain. "All of what our teams have done over the past 20 months has led us to this moment when we can finally show the innovation and beauty of Odyssey of the Seas."

A 17-year change agent for those living with disabilities in The Bahamas, Brown is a mother and cancer survivor. The life-long athlete was diagnosed with stage 4 osteosarcoma – bone cancer – in 2004. It was more than a year later, after receiving treatment, when Brown made the decision to amputate her leg above the knee. Having watched her own mother battle lupus linked to cancer for five years, Odyssey's Godmother was determined to come back stronger than ever for herself, her family and others who could be inspired to fight. Brown went on to become the first Bahamian paratriathlete to train in the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and compete in a Paralympic Games qualifier. In addition to her athletic achievements, Brown is a longtime advocate for those living with disabilities and works at the University of The Bahamas as the compliance officer and counselor championing the increase of access and opportunities for students living with disabilities.

"It's our honor to welcome Erin as our first Bahamian Godmother," said Bayley. "She is an incredible individual who pushes to change the status quo, making her the perfect choice for a ship as innovative as Odyssey of the Seas. It's also fitting because The Bahamas has been our great partner and neighbor since Royal Caribbean first set sail to the islands more than 50 years ago."

Royal Caribbean cruises have visited The Bahamas and the Caribbean for 52 years and counting. Year after year, guests of all ages can set sail to explore the regions' stunning destinations. In June, The Bahamas was where Royal Caribbean's first cruise back in the western hemisphere set sail after more than a 15-month pause.

On full display during the official naming ceremony was Odyssey itself. The first Quantum Ultra Class ship in North America features a combination of new, thrilling experiences and signature adventures guests know and love. Highlights include a vibrant resort-style pool deck inspired by the Caribbean, the new Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, Teppanyaki, the restaurant serving up Far East flavors and making its North America debut; and one-of-a-kind entertainment that pushes the bounds of imagination in the high-tech venue Two70 and the Royal Theater.

"I am immensely grateful to have been selected as Godmother to Odyssey of the Seas," said Brown. "As a proud Bahamian, it is an honor to also represent The Bahamas and share my story with so many others. My experiences have empowered me to reinvent myself and transform my life, and I'm committed to helping ensure others can do the same."

This winter and early 2022, Odyssey is welcoming families and travelers of all ages on 6-night and 8-night cruises to the eastern, western and southern Caribbean as well as the cruise line's private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay. In April 2022, the new, innovative ship will head to its summer home in Rome to sail along the sun-soaked shores of the Mediterranean.

Carnival Resumes Operations From Tampa With Carnival Pride
Continuing its successful restart, Carnival Cruise Line resumed guest operations today from Tampa, Fla. with Carnival Pride. A second ship, Carnival Paradise, will join Carnival Pride, in March 2022.

To commemorate the special day, Carnival held a "Back to Fun" event at the Port of Tampa. Carnival's Vice President of Guest Operations Sarah Beth Reno, Carnival Pride Captain Rino Costanzo, and Port Tampa Bay's Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Raul Alfonso cut a ceremonial ribbon to much fanfare and officially welcomed the first guests on board. Carnival Pride is set to depart today on a seven-day cruise to the Western Caribbean with stops in the Mexican ports of Costa Maya and Cozumel, as well as Belize and Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras.

"We have been a proud member of the Tampa community for more than 25 years, having been the first cruise line to sail from Tampa in 1994, so we're absolutely thrilled to provide our guests an opportunity to get Back to Fun from the port while supporting the local economy," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

"We are so pleased to have Carnival Cruise Line returning to Port Tampa Bay today. The return of cruising has a far-reaching impact on our region, with many local businesses standing to benefit. It's estimated that a ship like Carnival Pride generates an average of $334,000 in passenger and crew onshore spending per call," said Raul Alfonso, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Port Tampa Bay.

Carnival Cruise Line launched the first year-round cruise program from Tampa in 1994 on the since-retired Tropicale, carrying 28,000 passengers a year. The line has since increased passenger capacity nine-fold, making it one of the largest cruise operators in the area. Cruise operations in Tampa are part of Carnival's close-to-home ship deployment strategy which positions ships near large U.S. population centers along the East and West Coasts and the Gulf of Mexico to make cruising convenient for everyone.

Carnival Pride's offerings from Tampa include six-, seven- and eight-day Western Caribbean sailings.

Cunard Partnership with The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation Returns to commemorate the heroes of World War II
In partnership with The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation, Cunard will again pay tribute to the heroes of World War II, featuring several esteemed veterans on the fourth such powerful enrichment program on board a Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Crossing. This special voyage will depart New York and sail to Southampton, England, June 5 to 12, 2022.

On this 7-night voyage, guests will have the opportunity to attend lectures and interact with several WWII veterans, hearing first-hand about their experiences during the war. From the "Battle of the Atlantic," and the DDAY landings in Normandy, to the last living survivor of Pearl Harbor, these distinguished war heroes will engage in discussions and Q&A's, giving guests a very personal glimpse into the human elements of wartime service.

A special new feature on this Crossing will be the inclusion of veterans from the Korean, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars.

"We are honored to continue our relationship with The Greatest Generations Foundation, and to pay tribute to these esteemed veterans and their wartime service. Ever since we first introduced this very special program in 2017, guests have been riveted by their very moving and personal narratives, resulting in standing ovations every day," said Jamie Paiko, vice president, Sales, Cunard North America. "We are both humbled and thrilled to welcome back some returning WWII veterans to our flagship, and to meet some veterans new to the Cunard experience."

Participating veterans scheduled to be on board will include:

• STEVE MELNIKOFF, 102, who experienced the full horrors of Omaha Beach, when he served in 1st Battalion, 175th Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division and who earned three Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts for his service.

• MICKEY GANITCH, 102, who served as a Senior Chief Quartermaster in the United States Navy and witnessed Pearl Harbor.and went on the fight in 17 battles throughout the Pacific.

• HAROLD ANGLE, 98, who served in the 112th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, and who marched down the Champs-Elysées on August 29, 1944, in the Liberation of Paris.

• JAMES BLANE, 98, Corporal of the 4th Marine Division of the United States Marine Corps and served in the battles of Kwajalein (Roi-Namur), Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima.

• HAROLD RADISH, 97, served with the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 90th Infantry Division, as a combat intelligence observer. During the battle of the BULGE, RADISH, a Jewish-American, was captured by the Germans and served the rest of the war as a prisoner of war in Nazi Germany.

• IRVING LOCKER, 97, remembers in vivid detail the brutally cold winter of 1944-45 when he was a 19-year-old staff sergeant with the 116th AAA Gun Battalion of the 1st Army's 7th Corps. They fired 90mm anti-aircraft, anti-tank guns at the Germans in Hitler's last desperate effort to avert inevitable defeat in the European Theater of WWII.

• ROBERT FISHER, 88, is a 1955 Naval Academy graduate and career Marine Corps officer who retired in 1982. At that time, he also studied four guerrilla wars in Southeast Asia and obtained the Malaya Jungle School Syllabus at Johore Bahru and went on to train 20,000 Marines, Navy Seals, Sea-Bees, and Army Special Forces Teams for Vietnam.

• RICHARD PRINCE, 76, was assigned to Delta Company, 1st Battalion 5th Marines and assaulted the Dong Ba Tower in Hue. Pictures of his bravery were featured in Time Magazine and on the cover of Stars & Stripes Magazine during the war. He was severely wounded in the neck and medevac'd out of Vietnam to the United States during this action.

• JESSE "BUD" ALLEY, 80, served two years active duty; a complete twelve-month tour in Vietnam with the First Cavalry Division (Airmobile)-August 1965-August 1966. His award-winning book The Ghosts of the Green Grass documents his experience in the Vietnam War.

• KEVIN BREWINGTON, 38, served with the U.S. Army and was two months into his Afghanistan deployment as an infantryman with the 125th Special Brigade Combat Team when he stepped on a landmine. He woke up four days later in a hospital in Germany. BREWINGTON lost both his legs and part of his right arm in the blast and has spent seven years recovering and rebuilding his life.

Q&A's and other discussions with the World War II veterans will cover topics including:

• The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941

• D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy, 1944

• The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge, 1944

• Blood Sand: The Battle for Iwo Jima, 1945

• Vietnam War: The Forgotten Generation

• Afghanistan: The Forever War

Jeremy Hubbard, current co-anchor of FOX31 Denver News will join the voyage and act as a moderator of the panels and lectures. Prior to joining the FOX31 Denver News team, Hubbard, a native of western Colorado, worked as a New York-based correspondent for ABC News where he contributed and reported for all ABC News broadcasts including: Good Morning America, World News with Dianne Sawyer and Nightline.

Carnival Announces Brand-New Excel-Class Ship Coming To Galveston In 2023
On the heels of the rave reviews of its newest ship Mardi Gras, Carnival Cruise Line today announced that its third Excel-class ship – to be named Carnival Jubilee – will be delivered in 2023 and based in Galveston, Tex.

The announcement about Carnival Jubilee was made the same day that Carnival confirmed that all 22 of its U.S.-based ships will be back in guest operations by March 2022. Nineteen ships had been confirmed by February, and now Carnival Sensation will restart from Mobile, Ala. effective Mar. 5, Carnival Ecstasy will restart from Jacksonville, Fla. effective Mar. 7, and Carnival Paradise will restart from Tampa, Fla. effective Mar. 12.

"Carnival was the first cruise line to offer year-round cruising from Galveston in 2000, and we have continued to grow our presence and support of the Port of Galveston's expansion, so we are thrilled to bring our brand-new Carnival Jubilee to Texas and the greater southwest region," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "This beautiful, innovative ship will bring an entirely new cruise experience to our guests, and we've got some great surprises to fun it up in ways we know they are going to love."

Carnival Jubilee will be the third in the Excel-class for Carnival, joining sisters Mardi Gras, sailing from Port Canaveral since earlier this year, and Carnival Celebration, which will be delivered in late 2022 and based in Miami. The ships utilize a liquefied natural gas (LNG) technology platform. Carnival Corp. pioneered the introduction of LNG fuel in the passenger cruise sector as part of the company's ongoing commitment to sustainability and compliance throughout its global operations. Mardi Gras is the first LNG-powered cruise ship to operate in North America, and more information about the technology can be found in this video.

However, this new Excel-class ship will not be the first Jubilee to sail from Galveston. As it gets ready to celebrate its 50th birthday in 2022, Carnival has resurrected some of the names of its previous ships that were popular with guests at the company's inception – such as Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration, and now, Carnival Jubilee. Celebration was the first year-round ship positioned in Galveston in 2000 and was soon joined by Jubilee in 2002. So now, just more than 21 years later, this new Carnival Jubilee – four times larger than her predecessor – will make her debut at the port ushering new ways for the next generation of cruise enthusiasts to have fun.

Today's announcement was made at the annual CruiseWorld travel advisor conference in Miami Beach, Fla. Creating an extra special moment during the event, Duffy was joined on stage by a seven-foot cowboy who had been positioned around the convention for the previous 24 hours teasing that "something big is coming to Texas." The more than 1,000 travel advisors in attendance cheered as the Carnival team revealed the news and passed out Texas-themed goodies and trinkets.

"We love Texas, and Texas loves Carnival. Galveston is one of our most popular homeports, and we draw guests to Texas from across the Midwest, southwest and western U.S. Bringing a brand-new ship to a market is a big commitment, and it's one we gladly make for the greater Galveston community and entire region," said Duffy.

Carnival Jubilee will arrive at 182,800 gross tons, with a capacity of more than 5,400 guests and 1,700 crew. She'll be sailing seven-day western Caribbean itineraries and will include features from her sister ships that guests know and love including the BOLT roller coaster on the top deck, expanded dining options, new designs for suites and staterooms, and a stunning, three-deck atrium on the starboard side of the ship that overlooks the ocean and converts to an entertainment venue at night. The ship will also have six fun-filled zones like her sisters, two of which will be brand-new concepts to be revealed at a later date. Details on these just-for-Jubilee firsts and other exciting news will be shared over the coming months.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 22.30 - 9.31%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 85.26 - 9.02%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.85 + 19.72%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 25.51 - 9.67%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas was out on her sea trials she sported a unique entertainment option on her aft decks. This entertainment option never made it past the sea trials. What was this high flying entertainment option?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which famous liner came to the assistance of the Andrea Doria after she was struck by the Swedish liner Stockholm in 1956?

Answer - The French Line transatlantic liner "Ile de France" came to the rescue after the collision between the Italian liner "Andrea Doria" and the Swedish Liner "Stockholm" on July 25, 1956. The collision occured in fog off the Nantucket Shoals. courtesy of Larry MacDonald


Cruise News - November 8, 2021

HAL's Rotterdam Kicks Off its Inaugural Season of Caribbean Cruising
Holland America Line's new Rotterdam departs today, Nov. 5, at 5 p.m. EST from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on its inaugural Caribbean cruise — a roundtrip five-day sailing that visits Bimini, Bahamas, and spends two days at Half Moon Cay, the cruise line's award-winning private Bahamian island. The ship arrived at Port Everglades Nov. 3 following its maiden transatlantic voyage that set sail from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Oct. 20.

Rotterdam marks the second ship to return to Florida cruising and the Caribbean for Holland America Line since the industrywide pause began 20 months ago. During November, the ship will be joined at Port Everglades by Pinnacle Class sister-ship Nieuw Statendam and Eurodam, which also kick off their Caribbean seasons. Nieuw Amsterdam began Caribbean cruising from Fort Lauderdale Oct. 23.

"We have been awaiting our return to the Caribbean for a long time, and having Rotterdam and our other ships restart operations out of Fort Lauderdale is an incredible moment for our company," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "Rotterdam's maiden voyage from Europe was a huge success and we're getting a lot of positive feedback from guests about the ship."

The cruise line celebrated Rotterdam's Caribbean departure with fanfare to welcome guests on board, and Antorcha was on hand to greet embarking passengers.

Following the Nov. 5 cruise, Rotterdam will sail in the Caribbean through April, with all departures roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. The cruises range from six to 11 days and span the region on southern, eastern, western and tropical itineraries. Guests looking for a longer getaway can embark on a Collectors' Voyage — combined back-to-back itineraries that offer an in-depth exploration covering more than one area.

Every Caribbean cruise includes a call at Half Moon Cay, rated the number-one port of call in the Caribbean by the line's guests. This quaint sanctuary has evolved into a playground for cruisers and features the finest white-sand beaches, two-story villas and private cabanas, dining venues like Lobster Shack, a children's waterpark and a variety of fun-filled tours for nature lovers, adventurous travelers and explorers.

Holland America Line has been homeporting from Port Everglades since the 1990s. Operationally, each ship visit directly contributes $364,000 to the local economy in provisioning (fuel, food, flowers, piano tuning, supplies), port taxes and spending. Holland America Line works with nearly 100 local vendors who supply the company and its ships with goods and services.

Throughout the years, Holland America Line has been actively involved with more than 30 nonprofits in South Florida through giving, shipboard lunches and cruise donations, including Seafarers' House, Henderson Behavioral Health, Coast Guard Women's Leadership Initiative, Symphony of the Americas, The Opera Society and more.

Rotterdam has the highly successful amenities and innovations introduced with her sister ships, including the 270-degree surround screen World Stage, Rudi's Sel de Mer restaurant and Grand Dutch Café. The ship introduces the Half Moon Bar, an immersive experience looking at the history of Holland America Line and cruising through the lens of a cocktail.

Delivering the best of everything, Rotterdam celebrates live music with a collection of world-class performances each night — from Lincoln Center Stage and B.B. King's Blues Club to Rolling Stone Rock Room and Billboard Onboard.

Throughout the ship, Rotterdam showcases Holland America Line hallmarks that drive one of the highest repeat rates in the industry: exquisite cuisine guided by eight of the world's leading chefs; gracious, award-winning service; a museum-quality art collection valued at more than $4 million; and superbly appointed staterooms and suites, including family and single accommodations.

Rotterdam is the seventh ship to bear the name for Holland America Line.

Princess Showcases New Enchanted Princess
Princess Cruises offers a first look at the cruise line's newest MedallionClass ship – Enchanted Princess, the newest ship to join the global fleet. Find video b-roll here and photos here, showcasing beautifully designed interiors, elegantly appointed accommodations, world-class entertainment, gourmet dining and craft cocktails, extensive alfresco dining areas, and expansive views from the cruise line's largest balconies, a feature of the new Sky Suites.

A special naming ceremony celebration will be broadcast on Monday, December 13, on Princess.com, Princess Cruises' Facebook page and YouTube channels with more details to follow.

The 145,000-ton, 3,660-guest ship represents an evolution of the design platform consistent across her sister ships – Royal Princess (2013), Regal Princess (2014), Majestic Princess (2017) and Sky Princess (2019) – offering an elevation of spectacular style and elegance that is distinguished by Princess. The ship's inaugural cruise season begins Nov. 10, with 15 10-day Caribbean itineraries, sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, before heading to Europe.

"Introducing our newest ship – Enchanted Princess – is a significant milestone for Princess and we look forward to the first guests experiencing all this gorgeous ship has to offer," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "Enchanted Princess is our seventh ship to enter service since the global pause, signifying our successful path forward, with many loyal and new guests ready to sail with us and our teammates ready to deliver meaningful and memorable vacations at an incredible value."

Enchanted Princess delivers the ultimate in effortless, personalized cruising featuring the world-class dining and entertainment Princess is renowned for, all elevated with the Princess MedallionClass Experience. As with all ships in the Princess fleet, it begins with the Medallion, a quarter-sized, wearable device that enables everything from expedited contactless boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever guests need, delivered directly to them, wherever they are on the ship. In addition, guests can share their favorite cruise moments using MedallionNet, the best WiFi at sea, as well as stay connected with friends and family back home, work remotely anywhere on the ship, quickly post content and stream favorite movies and shows.

Notable features and entertainment offerings found onboard Enchanted Princess include:

• Sky Suites – First introduced on Sky Princess (2019), the new luxury Sky Suites offer inclusive amenities, attentive service and a dedicated Suite Experience Manager, luxurious accommodations for up to five guests and a 1,000 square-foot balcony featuring 270-degree views from the cruise line's largest balcony at sea.

• 25 Bars & Restaurants – With the most al fresco dining options of any Princess ship, Enchanted Princess features Bistro Sur La Mer by Three Michelin Star Chef Emmanuel Renaut, Sabatini's Italian Trattoria with its own Pasta Room, Crown Grill Steakhouse and Bar, Crooners, Chef's Table Lumiere, Gigi's Pizzeria, The Salty Dog Gastropub, Gelato, three beautifully appointed Main Dining Rooms and more.

• Aquatic Relaxation - In addition to multiple hot tubs, Enchanted boasts two deep-tank pools, adjacent to the top-deck bar. At the ship's aft end, the infinity-style Wakeview pool and bar offer spectacular views of the horizon, while the Retreat Pool offers a quiet oasis.

• Fan Favorite Original Production Shows – First debuted onboard Sky Princess to rave reviews, Enchanted Princess showcases Rock Opera, featuring incredible costumes inspired by glamorous avant garde fashion with a musical soundtrack spanning classic rock, opera and musical theater. In addition, 5-SKIES with its technologically enhanced production features a virtual gaming world, spectacular digital effects and acrobatics, intricate sets and contemporary music for one of the cruise line's most visually advanced shows ever.

• Take Five – First debuted on Sky Princess, Take Five showcases vintage footage, iconic imagery and intimate conversations that transport you to the heart of the jazz era. Guests can enjoy nightly live jazz while sipping cocktail favorites from Master Mixologist Rob Floyd and specialty gin cocktails crafted exclusively for Take Five.

Enchanted Princess also offers signature Princess venues and amenities including the Piazza, Lotus Spa, The Sanctuary, Movies Under the Stars, Princess Live! Café, Good Spirits at Sea Bar, Vegas-Style Casino, The Shops of Princess, Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Center and Discovery at SEA programs.

Celebrity Cruises Continues Its "Journey WonderFULL
Celebrity Cruises continued to 'Journey WonderFULL', with the two latest ships to return to service, Celebrity Reflection and Celebrity Constellation, setting sail from Fort Lauderdale and Tampa Bay, respectively, and capping a busy year which saw the new-luxury brand lead the industry back to service in the U.S. following a 15-month hiatus. With these two ships, 10 of the 14 ships within the Celebrity Cruises' fleet have now returned to sailing in 2021, taking guests to awe-inspiring destinations from the Caribbean to Europe and the Galapagos.

Sailing first on Nov. 6, 2021, exactly 600 days to the day from disembarking her last guest in Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades prior to ceasing operations, Celebrity Reflection will now take guests on a seven-night voyage from Fort Lauderdale, with stops in Bahamas, Mexico, Belize and Honduras. Celebrity Constellation set sail a day later on Nov. 7, 2021, from her new homeport of Tampa Bay with stops in Belize and Cozumel, Mexico. Each ship will enjoy nearly six months exploring the Eastern and Western Caribbean before their transatlantic voyages to then embark on itineraries that include many of the most alluring cities around Europe, including stops in Italy, Spain, Greece, and Croatia.

"The past year has been one of remarkable change, but we can definitely say the announcement of the return of these two marvelous ships is a change in the right direction as we invite our guests back on board," said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. "The experiences our guests will enjoy aboard these beautiful new-luxury ships will provide the healing power of travel that we have all been seeking."

Celebrity Reflection and Celebrity Constellation join eight additional ships in the Celebrity fleet that have been announced as part of its phased restart, including:

• Celebrity ApexSM, relocating from Greece in late October 2021 to now sail seven- to nine-night itineraries through spring 2022 in the Caribbean;

• Celebrity Edge, the first ship to sail from a U.S. Port on June 26, sailing a rotating schedule of Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale;

• Celebrity Equinox, sailing in the Southern Caribbean on six- to 12-night itineraries;

• Celebrity Flora, the brand's award-winning 100-guest luxury yacht and the intimate 16-passenger Celebrity Xploration, sailing Galapagos itineraries.

• Celebrity Millennium, sailing seven-night Caribbean itineraries in 2021 with Alaska itineraries beginning in 2022;

• Celebrity Silhouette, sailing the UK coastline as of July 3;

• Celebrity Summit, sailing three- to five-night itineraries in the Western Caribbean and Bahamas.

Guests setting sail with Celebrity Cruises enjoy unforgettable spaces, world-class amenities and all of the distinct features that make the brand's new-luxury cruises so incredible. A range of stylish accommodations include Concierge Class with extra comforts to further enhance the cruise experience; the spa-inspired AquaClass with exclusive clean cuisine dining at Blu; and a luxurious suite experience, The Retreat, featuring private restaurant dining and a 24/7 lounge. On board dining options include distinctive restaurants with menus crafted by Michelin-starred chefs and an award-winning wine collection. The Spa rivals top land-based offerings with a wide variety of soothing spa treatments and therapies. Celebrity Cruises' guests also enjoy shopping at the finest boutiques and family-fun activities, including cooking classes, recreational games, Silent Disco, and theatrical events.

Simplifying the luxury vacation experience, WiFi, drinks and service charges are now 'Always Included'SM on every Celebrity cruise.

The ships follow all established new health and safety measures in accordance with guidance from public health authorities, government agencies, and its own team of health and safety experts to provide guests with the peace of mind to fully enjoy their voyage.

Viking Announces New Expedition Voyages
Viking today announced the summer 2023 season of its expedition voyages, including a new two-week itinerary in the Great Lakes—as well as additional offerings in North and South America. Debuting in June 2023, the new 15-day Great Lakes Collection itinerary will sail between Toronto and Duluth, providing guests with a complete view of the region and ports of call in all five Great Lakes. As a result of strong demand, Viking has also announced 2023 sailing dates for four existing Great Lakes expedition voyages: the 8-day Niagara & the Great Lakes, Great Lakes Explorer, and Undiscovered Great Lakes itineraries, as well as the 13-day Canadian Discovery itinerary.

Three additional expedition voyages in North and South America will also debut in summer 2023. The new, 16-day Canada & the Atlantic Coastline itinerary will expand offerings along the St. Lawrence River and Atlantic coastline, featuring destinations that include Quebec City, Trois-Rivières, Norfolk, Charleston and more. Guests can discover the natural beauty of Patagonia while sailing from Santiago to Ushuaia on the new 14-day Patagonian Shores & Chilean Fjords itinerary, while guests looking to explore destinations in North, Central and South America, can choose the new 18-day itinerary Panama & Scenic South America.

"In creating 'the thinking person's expedition,' we are offering curious travelers the opportunity to visit some of the most pristine destinations on earth in the most responsible way possible," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "As we prepare to welcome our first guests on board for voyages to Antarctica this coming winter, we are also pleased to unveil even more new journeys closer to home for summer 2023."

New Viking Expeditions Summer 2023 Itineraries:

Highlights of the new itineraries include:

• Great Lakes Collection (NEW) – On this 15-day itinerary, guests sail the historic waterways of all five Great Lakes. Sailing between Toronto, Canada and Duluth, Minnesota, guests will experience culture-rich urban centers and admire the thundering power of Niagara Falls. Along the journey, guests can also explore the granite islands and sheltered inlets of Georgian Bay and traverse the famous Soo Locks. On Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, study the aquatic ecosystems of the lakes and venture into the dense boreal forests that line the shores.

• Canada & the Atlantic Coastline (NEW) – On this 16-day itinerary, guests sail along the legendary St. Lawrence Seaway and the Atlantic coast of the United States on a memorable voyage that combines scenic landscapes and storied cities between Toronto and Ft. Lauderdale. Led by a team of experts, explore the unspoiled wilderness near Trois-Rivières, Louisbourg and Lunenburg by land and water. Experience the bustling metropolis of New York City and immerse yourself in the rich histories of Quebec City, Norfolk and Charleston.

• Patagonian Shores & Chilean Fjords (NEW) – This 14-day itinerary discovers the rugged and untamed natural beauty of Patagonia while sailing from Santiago to Ushuaia. Guests can admire soaring peaks and towering ice shelves while navigating the iceberg-crowded channels of the Chilean Fjords. Follow your team of onboard experts for an up-close encounter with the blue-tinged glaciers that dominate the landscape and gain insight into Patagonian life during stops in the charming towns of Tortel and Castro on this unforgettable voyage through the wild and remarkable region.

• Panama & Scenic South America (NEW) – On this 18-day itinerary, guests will explore cultures and intriguing landscapes of North, Central and South America. On the journey between Santiago, Chile and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, guests will discover the secrets of ancient civilizations of the Yucatán Peninsula and transit between two oceans through the famous Panama Canal. Immerse yourself in lively Lima and enjoy the charms of Iquique, nested between the Atacama Desert and the Pacific.

Viking Expedition Ships

The new Polar Class Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will host 378 guests in 189 staterooms. Designed by the same experienced nautical architects and engineers that designed Viking ocean ships, the ships are optimally sized and built for expeditions—small enough to navigate remote polar regions and the St. Lawrence River, while large enough to provide superior handling and stability in the roughest seas. The ships will feature public spaces that are familiar to Viking's ocean voyage guests but that have been reimagined for expeditions, as well as new public spaces created specifically for expeditions. Straight bows, longer hulls and state-of-the-art fin stabilizers will allow the ships to glide over the waves for the calmest possible journey; ice-strengthened Polar Class hulls will provide the safest way to explore; and U-tank stabilizers will significantly decrease rolling by up to 50 percent when the ships are stationary. Viking's expedition ships will feature modern Scandinavian design with elegant touches, intimate spaces and attention to detail. Highlights include:

• The Hangar: An industry first, The Hangar brings true comfort to expedition voyages. This enclosed, in-ship marina permits the launch of small excursion craft through the ship's multiple shell doors. The Hangar's most innovative feature is an 85 ft. slipway that allows guests to embark on excursion craft from a flat, stable surface inside the ship, shielded from wind and waves. There is also a FerryBox, a set of instruments continuously collecting and displaying data on water quality, oxygen content, plankton composition and more.

• The Science Lab: Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, while hosting guests, will also be working research vessels with an onboard team of scientists working on a variety of studies. Developed in consultation with Cambridge University and Viking's other academic partners, The Science Lab, at 380 sq. ft., is designed to support a broad range of research activities and is equipped with wet and dry laboratory facilities, a sample processing area, fume cupboard, freezer and cool storage, comprehensive microscope optics and extensive bench space for analysis-specific instruments. Guests will have supervised access to The Science Lab, which is located in a glass-enclosed mezzanine above The Hangar, to learn from and participate with scientists undertaking primary research, an experience unique to Viking.

• Expedition Equipment: Viking will offer a variety of ways for guests to experience their destination, according to their interests and activity level, at no extra charge. With a robust program of complimentary experiences, expedition equipment available for guests on Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will include a fleet of military pro zodiacs designed for professional use in the harshest of environments; a fleet of two-seater Arctic-tested kayaks; and two 12-seater convertible Special Operations Boats. Each ship will also feature two six-guest submarines that feature revolving seats and 270-degree spherical windows for an incomparable undersea experience. Everything guests need will be provided: a Viking Expedition Kit will contain items like boots, binoculars and waterproof pants; each excursion will carry a full range of Safety Equipment, such as satellite phones, VHF radios, ropes, life jackets and a comprehensive shore survival kit; and all guests will receive complimentary use of Viking Excursion Gear, which includes specialty items like trekking poles, snowshoes and skis.

• The Aula & Finse Terrace: Viking has created the world's most advanced venue for learning at sea with The Aula, a stunning panoramic auditorium at the stern. Inspired by the University of Oslo's famed ceremonial hall where the Nobel Peace Prize was historically awarded, The Aula will offer a dynamic venue for lectures and entertainment, with floor-to-ceiling windows and 270-degree views. Adjacent to The Aula is the Finse Terrace, an outdoor lounge area at sea level with comfortable couches and warming lava rock "firepits" – perfect for panoramic views of the surroundings. Together the two spaces can be combined to create an unmatched indoor-outdoor al fresco experience for guests to be immersed in nature.

• Nordic Balcony: A first for polar expedition cruise vessels, all staterooms on board Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris feature a Nordic Balcony, a sunroom that converts into an al fresco viewing platform. Harnessing the Norwegian reverence for light and to create the optimal wildlife observatory at sea, the Nordic Balcony's floor-to-ceiling, distortion-free glass at the very edge of the ship lets guests take the views in, while keeping the elements out. Should guests wish to feel even closer to nature, the top of the panoramic glass lowers to transform the stateroom into a sheltered lookout, with an observation shelf at elbow level to stabilize binoculars or a camera. Guests can choose from six stateroom categories that range from 222 sq. ft to 1,223 sq. ft: Nordic Balcony, Deluxe Nordic Balcony, Nordic Penthouse, Nordic Junior Suite, Explorer Suite and Owner's Suite. All staterooms feature a Nordic Balcony, as well as a king-size bed and large bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and anti-fog mirror. Every stateroom is also equipped with a unique floor-to-ceiling drying closet that circulates warm air to dry and store clothing and expedition gear.

• Expedition Ship Suites: Nordic Junior Suites (322 sq. ft.) and Explorer Suites (580 sq. ft) on Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris rival those on Viking's fleet of ocean ships, with abundant wood detailing and amenities that include additional storage and seating, an expanded bathroom with extended shower and double sinks, welcome champagne, a fully-stocked mini-bar replenished daily, complimentary laundry and shoeshine services, priority restaurant reservations and more. Explorer Suites feature two separate rooms, a Nordic Balcony and a full outdoor veranda. Additionally, each ship features one Owner's Suite, which at 1,223 sq. ft, is twice the size of the Explorer Suites. With the most exclusive accommodations and amenities on board, it features two separate rooms – a living room with six-seat dining table and a bedroom – as well as a 792 sq. ft. private garden with a traditional Norwegian badestamp (wood-sided hot tub) and outdoor dining table.

• Aquavit Terrace & Pools: Located at the stern and featuring a retractable glass dome, this indoor-outdoor heated sanctuary will allow guests to be surrounded by their destination as they swim and lounge in three different temperature-controlled pools, including an "inside-out" swimming experience.

• The Nordic Spa & Fitness Center: In keeping with Viking's Nordic heritage, The Nordic Spa on board is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind – with a thermal suite that features a Sauna, Snow Grotto and chaise lounges, as well as a warm hydrotherapy pool and badestamp (hot tub), surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows. A state-of-the-art Fitness Center will also provide the latest equipment and workout gear.

• Explorers' Lounge: Similar to Viking's ocean ships, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris have a two-deck Explorers' Lounge at the bow of the ship, offering the perfect spot for taking in stunning scenery through double-height windows over a mug of mulled wine or glass of Norwegian aquavit.

• Dining Choices: Viking's expedition ships will offer an array of dining options that build on the successful venues from Viking's ocean ships, but which have been redesigned for expeditions. The Restaurant will offer fine dining featuring regional cuisine and always-available classics; the casual World Café will be a new "market" concept that offers live cooking, an open kitchen, bakery, grill and premium seafood and sushi choices, as well as a wide range of international flavors; Mamsen's, named for "Mamsen," the Hagen family matriarch, serves Scandinavian-inspired fare; Manfredi's offers the best of Italian cuisine; and 24-hour room service will be complimentary for all guests.

• Enrichment On Board and On Shore: Connecting guests to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking creating "the thinking person's expedition." As part of that commitment to destination-focused learning, Viking's exclusive partnerships with the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology will match leading researchers and educators with each expedition. The onboard expedition program is designed to prepare guests for their onshore experiences, with more than 25 experts accompanying each journey – the Viking Expedition Team (expedition leader and staff, photographer and submarine pilots) and Viking Resident Scientists (biologists, botanists, geologists, glaciologists, oceanographers, ornithologists, polar experts and researchers). On board, guests will enjoy daily briefings and world-class lectures about their destination – and engage with working scientists from renowned academic institutions in The Laboratory or participate directly in citizen science programs. On shore, guests can assist in fieldwork or interact through experiential activities during landings – such as monitoring birds to help identify migratory patterns; accompanying scientists to collect samples; or taking their cameras ashore alongside a professional photographer to learn how best to capture scenic landscapes.

• Sustainable Features: Compliant to all guidelines and regulatory requirements from AECO, IAATO, the Antarctic Treaty System and the Governor of Svalbard, Viking's expedition ships minimize environmental impact and meet the most stringent emissions and biosecurity standards. Additionally, the straight bow reduces fuel consumption, and a dynamic positioning system enables the ship to hover over the seabed without anchoring, allowing access to pristine environments without damage.

Richard Fain Stepping Down as CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group
Richard Fain, whose innovations during more than 33 years as Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) helped shape the modern cruise industry, has decided to step down as CEO on January 3, 2022, the company announced today. Chief Financial Officer Jason Liberty will succeed him as CEO and join the Board of Directors. Fain will remain as Chair of the Board of Directors.

The third-longest serving CEO among current S&P 500 leaders, Fain's storied career is defined by the innovations he championed involving every aspect of cruising – from revolutionary ship design to major sustainability efforts to the technologies and ground-breaking features that enriched the onboard experience for millions of guests.

Under Fain's leadership, the Royal Caribbean Group introduced new and distinctive ship categories, with a diverse range of amenities and experiences that transformed the nature of cruising. These transformational ships include Royal Caribbean International's Sovereign, Voyager, and Oasis classes; Celebrity Cruises' Solstice and Edge classes; the highly anticipated Royal Caribbean International Icon class to be introduced in 2023; and Silversea Cruises' "Project Evolution" that will become the industry's first hybrid powered ship when introduced in 2023. Fain, working with Liberty, will continue his involvement in the Group's ship construction program.

Liberty joined the Royal Caribbean Group in 2005 and served in several financial, strategic and operational roles before becoming CFO in 2013. His operational duties have expanded over the years and gone well beyond the responsibilities normally associated with a CFO. Liberty is also responsible for Silversea Cruises, the Group's joint ventures with TUI Cruises and Hapag Lloyd Cruises, as well as the Royal Caribbean Group's strategy, technology, supply chain, port operations and legal functions.

The company also announced that Naftali Holtz will become CFO when Liberty assumes the CEO role. Holtz is currently senior vice president of finance for the Royal Caribbean Group, responsible for corporate, capital and revenue planning and analysis, deployment planning, risk management and treasury.

Fain has steered the company through the global pandemic, and he was a driving force behind the creation of the Healthy Sail Panel, a group of renowned health experts who established safety and wellness protocols to restore confidence in cruising safety.

"Richard has been a visionary leader, who has made innumerable and remarkable contributions to our company and our industry," said Bill Kimsey, lead director of the Board. "Most recently, his stewardship during the COVID pandemic marks him as one of the great CEOs of his generation. The cruising community and all of us in the company owe him a debt of gratitude."

Fain said that he and RCG's Board of Directors had developed a careful succession planning process for when he decided the time was right to step down.

"There are no words to express my admiration and appreciation to the people of the Royal Caribbean Group, who have been the real drivers of our success; and my profound appreciation for the support and guidance of the Board of Directors during good times and bad throughout this long period of sustained growth."

Fain said that with most of the Group's ships operating, a full return to cruising approaching, and the Group's brands under the leadership of exceptional CEOs, it was the right time to step down.

"Given the great depth and breadth of our leadership, and the positive outlook for our business, this is the appropriate time to step aside and have Jason take over," Fain said. "He is a highly versatile and strategic leader, who has been integral to all aspects of the company's accomplishments and performance."

Fain also said that Liberty and Holtz "have done an exceptional job organizing over $12 billion of financing during this challenging period. They did so in a remarkably careful and methodical manner, which will serve us well in the years to come."

"Our success as a business has relied heavily on our culture and on the values we hold dear," said Fain. "Jason epitomizes those values, and I know he will work to build on them in this everchanging world. I couldn't be happier to have such a superbly qualified and principled leader succeed me as CEO. Jason will lead the Group to new heights."

Kimsey noted that Liberty has played "a significant part in every major initiative the company has undertaken for many years, and he was instrumental in helping manage through the pandemic. The Board enthusiastically and unanimously chose him to be the Royal Caribbean Group's next CEO."

Liberty said he was honored and humbled to become CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group. "Our incredible people and culture, combined with our leading brands and the most innovative fleet in the world are what make our organization so successful. I'm grateful to both the board for selecting me, and to Richard, for his friendship, mentoring and guidance. I look forward to building upon the company's remarkable record in the years ahead."

Liberty continued, "Naftali has demonstrated his ability to lead the finance organization and is well prepared to take on the important CFO role."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 24.59 + 6.59%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 93.71 + 6.15%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.71 + 4.41%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 28.24 + 4.32%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which famous liner came to the assistance of the Andrea Doria after she was struck by the Swedish liner Stockholm in 1956?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Here's another Photo Cruise Trivia - This picture was taken in 1975 in New York City. Can you name the five ships in the photo (...from bottom to top)?


Click Here for a larger version of the picture.

Answer - Sagafjord, Doric, Michelangelo, Oceanic, Rotterdam, Statendam courtesy of Hans-Peter Lemcke-Braselmann


Cruise News - November 1, 2021

A New Apex Reached For U.S. Cruises
Beauty and wonder meet excitement and anticipation as Celebrity Cruises' stunning new-luxury ship, Celebrity Apex, kicks off its inaugural Caribbean season, setting sail from Ft. Lauderdale today. The festivities include the ship's official naming ceremony led by her inspiring Godmother, Reshma Saujani, the founder of groundbreaking non-profit Girls Who Code and author of bestseller, "Brave, Not Perfect."

Celebrity Apex's much-anticipated arrival to U.S ports is a landmark moment for the brand, as the vessel's launch was originally planned for late March 2020. Following a short run of Greek Island sailings earlier this summer, the ship now embarks for the first time from U.S shores on rotating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, where guests will visit the picturesque islands of Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Belize, Grand Caymans and more.

"We are elated to welcome Celebrity Apex to our family of magnificent vessels that push the boundaries of what's possible on a cruise ship," said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. "As we welcome guests back to the seas aboard the newest Edge class ship, we are excited to deliver the very best vacation experience that is the hallmark of every Celebrity cruise.

"Celebrating Celebrity Apex is certainly long overdue and it's a day I have been waiting to celebrate for quite a long time - 581 days, to be exact. This stunning ship truly represents a new standard in new-luxury travel, and we can't wait for our guests to finally experience it for themselves," said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. "As we say in our new brand campaign, we know guests will not only, 'Journey WonderFULL,' aboard this beautiful ship, but that she will also be the industry's most talked about new ship."

Joining the executives onstage, and in keeping with nautical tradition, Reshma Saujani will officially name Celebrity Apex on board the ship in a beautiful ceremony. Also in attendance will be hundreds of guests including local dignitaries from the City of Hollywood and City of Dania Beach; representatives from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Coast Guard, Broward County Sheriff's Department, and Broward County Fire Rescue, as well as media and invited guests.

The Apex of New Luxury at Sea

Like her multi-award-winning, industry-changing sister ship, Celebrity Edge, named one of TIME Magazine's "2019 World's Greatest Places," Celebrity Apex features innovative outward-facing design and visionary spaces from world-renowned designers, connecting guests to the breathtaking world around them like never before. The ship's onboard experience also stands apart from anything else at sea, and feeds today's travelers' wanderlust with both familiar and new offerings including:

• The exclusive The Retreat with its stunning suite accommodations, a private restaurant, and an exclusive lounge and sundeck to rival any high-end resort. In addition, a dedicated team of Personal Retreat Hosts on-hand 24/7, ensures everything is taken care of while on vacation.

• Transformational accommodations, from modern two-story villas with plunge pools to staterooms with infinite verandas, that blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living.

• The Magic Carpet, soaring cantilevered above the sea and offering guests uninterrupted vistas while sipping cocktails or having dinner.

• A curated collection of 29 culinary venues including the brand-new Craft Social Bar, offering 40 handcrafted boutique beer selections, creative cocktails and a wide selection of a la carte, gourmet comfort food and bar bites. Globally-inspired menus, crafted by Michelin-starred chefs bring the flavors of the world straight to the plate, providing an epicurean journey unmatched at sea.

• 7,000 square feet of retail offerings featuring such renowned luxury stand-alone boutiques as Bvlgari, Cartier and the first-ever Montblanc lifestyle boutique.

• First-at-sea F45 classes, along with Peloton bikes, and "Women in Wellness" onboard content and experiences from some of the most influential female leaders in wellness augment well-being offerings throughout the ship.

Naming Celebrity Apex

Reshma Saujani follows Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, the first Edge Series Godmother, who inaugurated Celebrity Edge in November 2018, and is renowned for her advocacy of educational opportunities for girls everywhere. Saujani also represents women breaking ground, having led the charge to provide opportunities for women in the traditionally male-dominated tech field. "I can't think of anyone better to serve as Godmother for this ship than the incredible Reshma Saujani," continued Lutoff-Perlo. "Reshma is a visionary, leading the charge to challenge stereotypes and inspire a whole new generation of girls and women to bravely pursue tech jobs; just as Celebrity is working to close the gender gap at sea, growing our percentage of women serving as bridge officers to 30 percent in an industry where the average is 2 percent. It is Reshma's game-changing spirit that makes her the perfect Godmother for a game-changing ship like Celebrity Apex." "It's both thrilling and humbling to serve as the Godmother of Celebrity Apex," said Saujani. "Similar to the mission of Girls Who Code, which is centered around closing the gender gap in tech, Celebrity is leading the way to create a more diverse future in the cruise industry. The brand's commitment to the cause is clear not only through the leadership of its President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, but in its incorporation of on-board STEM programming. I can't think of a more inspiring place to learn about the wonders of the maritime industry than on board Celebrity Apex and Girls Who Code is honored to help in this effort." In honor of Saujani's work, Celebrity Cruises will offer fun, interactive beginning coding activities from the Girls Who Code curriculum as part of the cruise line's onboard Camp at Sea program.

Hometown Cruise Ship Ruby Princess Debuts at Port of San Francisco
San Francisco's hometown cruise ship, Ruby Princess, became Princess Cruises' sixth MedallionClass ship back in service yesterday, setting sail from the Port of San Francisco. The ship welcomed the first guests back onboard with a special ceremony before sailing underneath the iconic Golden Gate Bridge on a seven-day California Coast cruise, returning on Nov. 7.

The cruise ship will be sailing out of the Port of San Francisco to various sought-after destinations including Mexico, Hawaii, the California Coast, Alaska and the Panama Canal on five- to 15-day cruises available for booking through 2023.

"Princess is proud to have our sixth MedallionClass ship back to provide sought-after cruise vacations," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "It's inspiring to see guests enjoying real vacations again, and to watch our teammates deliver such meaningful and memorable Princess vacations."

Ruby Princess offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars and original musical productions, sumptuous dining options from Crown Grill to Sabatini's Italian Trattoria and exciting new top-deck dining venues including Slice Pizzeria and Coffee & Cones. Guests can also relax and renew with rejuvenating spa treatments, the tranquility of The Sanctuary, a top-deck retreat reserved just for adults and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

Earlier this month another Princess cruise ship, Majestic Princess, arrived in San Francisco for an overnight port call, marking the first cruise to bring guests to San Francisco since the industry pause. Long-time partners from the Port of San Francisco welcomed the cruise line back, recognizing the financial impact to local businesses. Now, with Ruby Princess' arrival as the city's hometown cruise ship, small and family-owned waterfront establishments will continue to benefit.

"The Port of San Francisco is proud to be the home port of Ruby Princess," said Elaine Forbes, Executive Director of the Port of San Francisco. "For over fifty years Princess Cruises has sailed from the Port of San Francisco connecting our local merchants, Fisherman's Wharf, PIER 39 and our iconic City to communities all-around the world."

Princess MedallionClass vacations deliver the ultimate in effortless, personalized cruising. It begins with the Medallion, a quarter-sized, wearable device that enables everything from touch-free boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever guests need, delivered directly to them, wherever they are on the ship.

In addition, guests can share their favorite cruise moments using MedallionNet, the best WiFi at sea, and also stay connected with friends and family back home, work remotely anywhere on the ship, quickly post content and stream favorite movies and shows.

Princess Cruises sailings onboard Ruby Princess are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination. All fully vaccinated guests must also produce a negative, medically observed COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within two days of their embarkation on all Princess sailings.

Royal Caribbean Group Reports Third Quarter 2021 Results And Provides Updates On Its Return To Service
Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) today reported financial results for the third quarter of 2021 and provided business updates.

Royal Caribbean said that it has worked aggressively to restart its vessel operations. This process is proceeding at a strong pace with two-thirds of our fleet operating. The Delta-Dip caused a delay in our booking progress but did not alter the strong fundamental trajectory.

Third Quarter 2021

Royal Caribbean said that it reported US GAAP Net Loss for the third quarter of 2021 of $(1.4) billion or $(5.59) per share compared to US GAAP Net Loss of $(1.3) billion or $(6.29) per share in the prior year. Royal Caribbean said that it also reported Adjusted Net Loss of $(1.2) billion or $(4.91) per share for the third quarter of 2021 compared to Adjusted Net Loss of $(1.2) billion or $(5.62) per share in the prior year. The Net Loss and Adjusted Net Loss for the third quarter of 2021 are the result of the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business.

Since the last business update, 11 additional ships have returned to service. As of today, 40 ships from the Company's five brands, or approximately 65% of its capacity, have resumed sailing. Royal Caribbean said that it is thoughtfully returning ships into operations at reduced load factors and slowly building to ensure health and safety, a world class guest experience, and financial prudence. Richard Fain, Chairman & CEO said: "We want to show, in a tangible way, the safety and simplicity of cruising. Our strategy continues to focus on getting the flywheel spinning smooth and fast, so that as we turn the year we will enjoy a stable and predictable platform with which to start the WAVE Period."

The ships that operated the Group's core Caribbean, Alaska, and Europe itineraries in the third quarter achieved a load factor of 44%. Core itineraries exclude sailings during the early ramp-up period of up to four weeks and also exclude specialized itineraries implemented during the COVID period (e.g., Singapore, Cyprus). Total revenues per Passenger Cruise Day in the third quarter was up 12% versus record 2019 levels driven mainly by strong onboard revenue performance. Ships in core itineraries in the third quarter were cash flow accretive excluding start-up costs.

"On October 25, 2021, the United States CDC issued a temporary extension of the Conditional Sail Order through January 15, 2022. Thereafter, the CDC has expressed its intention to transition to a voluntary program, in coordination with interested cruise ship operators," said Fain. "We are very pleased with the continued and constructive partnership with the CDC and the U.S. government's COVID-19 interagency group. This is a great example of how close collaboration between the cruise industry and the CDC results in health and safety protocols that have demonstrated cruising can be one of the safest forms of vacation," Fain continued.

Continued Fleet Ramp-Up

The Group anticipates load factors on core itineraries to ramp to 65-70% during the fourth quarter. Royal Caribbean said that it anticipates 6.9 million APCDs for the fourth quarter with overall load factors of 60-65%. The Group expects all ships on core itineraries in the fourth quarter will be cash flow accretive even when including start-up costs. By the end of the year, the Group expects that 50 out of 61 ships will have returned to service, representing almost 100% of core itinerary capacity and approximately 80% of worldwide capacity. The remaining ships are expected to return by the spring of 2022 and return to historical load factors in the third quarter 2022. Mainland China is expected to resume in the spring and we have assumed lower load factors as this important long term market ramps up.

Update on Bookings

Booking volumes have improved significantly since the slowdown this summer due to the Delta variant (the '"Delta Dip"). Royal Caribbean said that it attracted more bookings in the third quarter compared to the second quarter. September was particularly strong, with new bookings for 2022 sailings more than 60% higher than the monthly average during the second quarter.

Sailings for the full year 2022 are booked within historical ranges and at higher prices than 2019. Sailings further out are experiencing more normalized booking trends than sailings closer in. As such, load factors for sailings in the first quarter 2022 are lower than historical levels; are improving but still below average in the second quarter; and are solidly within historical levels in the second half. Pricing remains strong throughout 2022, with or without FCCs.

"As cases have come down, demand has come surging back. Consumers are showing their resilience and desire to vacation, and the growing affinity of Royal Caribbean's leading brands, ships and crew. Although there are many uncertainties going forward regarding COVID-19, as well as cost and supply chain pressures, we continue our pathway forward and anticipate positive cash flow for the Group by spring of 2022 and generating positive earnings for the full year 2022," said Jason T. Liberty, Executive Vice President and CFO.

As of September 30, 2021, Royal Caribbean said that it had approximately $2.8 billion in customer deposits. The comparable figure for the three brands at the same time in 2019 was $3.1 billion. This represents an improvement of about $400 million over the past quarter despite the $300 million of revenue that was recognized during the quarter. Approximately 35% of the customer deposit balance is related to FCCs compared to 40% in the prior quarter; a positive trend indicating new demand. Customer deposits for second quarter 2022 forward sailings are higher than at the same time in 2019.

Cunard announces new itineraries on Queen Elizabeth for 2022
Cunard has announced that a series of new itineraries sailing on Queen Elizabeth between February and May 2022 will go on sale in November. All sailings will depart from Southampton and will include a voyage in search of the Northern Lights, journeys to the Canary Islands and the Western Mediterranean as well as a grand voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, through the Panama Canal and on to Vancouver, Canada.

The new itineraries will replace the existing published schedule. Cunard continues to work very closely with authorities in all the destinations visited to ensure compliance with local health and entry requirements. Unfortunately, based on the most recent advice for cruise guests, and given the complexities of many of the international destinations involved, it will not be viable to maintain Queen Elizabeth's existing schedule and all departures from 20 February to 17 May 2022 inclusive are now cancelled.

Cunard President Simon Palethorpe says, "We hope our guests will be inspired to find a little adventure with these new itineraries. In a single short programme, they offer fantastic variety from the opportunity to experience the wondrous Northern Lights, to sun kissed Mediterranean shores, to a transit of the Panama Canal.

To all guests affected by the cancelled voyages we are sorry for the disappointment this will cause and we hope to welcome many back on board when we return to Japan in 2023."

Guests booked on the affected cancelled voyages will be offered a full refund or future cruise credit worth 125% of the standard deposit terms, and 100% of any additional monies paid.

Carnival Cruise Line Welcomes Bahamas Prime Minister During Mardi Gras' Stop In Nassau
The celebrations on the inaugural cruise for Carnival Cruise Line's Mardi Gras continued today in Nassau as Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy and Captain Vincenzo Alcaras welcomed Bahamas Prime Minister The Honourable Philip Brave Davis, members of his cabinet and local officials aboard for a tour and luncheon meeting. The ship, flying the Bahamian flag, is a symbol of Carnival's commitment to The Bahamas, and is carrying more than 4,300 guests who enjoyed various shore excursions and activities during the day-long visit.

"We are thrilled to be visiting Nassau with our flagship Mardi Gras and welcoming Prime Minister Davis and his leadership team aboard," said Duffy. "Carnival has a longstanding relationship with The Bahamas and we look forward to working closely with the Prime Minister and his cabinet as we continue to restart ships in our fleet, bring more guests to The Bahamas, and demonstrate our commitment to the health, safety and well-being of our guests, crew and the destinations we visit."

Carnival also announced today that it has reflagged two additional vessels, Carnival Legend and Carnival Spirit, to Bahamian registry, bringing the total number of vessels registered in the country to six.

"We value our business relationships across The Bahamas whether our investments in destinations and facilities such as the Grand Bahamas Shipyard, the local tourism and excursion partners that employ many Bahamian citizens, or the Bahamas Maritime Administration that shares our commitment to safety and environmental protection. We're proud and honored to continue to expand the number of ships we have registered here," said Domenico Rognoni, senior vice president of compliance for Carnival Cruise Line. "The Bahamas' insight, cooperation and professionalism in all aspects of our business play a key role in our maritime operations."

Carnival Legend is scheduled to replace Carnival Pride in Baltimore resuming year-round operations Nov. 14, 2021, while Carnival Spirit, based in Australia, is on a pause in guest operations through February 2022. Mardi Gras, Carnival Sunrise, Carnival Sensation and Carnival Sunshine are the other Carnival ships registered in The Bahamas.

Mardi Gras was christened during a "Universe of Fun" celebration on Oct. 23 in Port Canaveral, Fla. The celebration marked the first ship naming ceremony held in the U.S. since the cruise industry's restart this summer.

Mardi Gras is the first cruise ship in the Americas to be powered by eco-friendly Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and features BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea. Mardi Gras is sailing year-round from Port Canaveral, offering seven-day itineraries to the eastern and western Caribbean, stopping in Nassau every other week.

Princess Cruises Announces "The Love Boat" Themed Cruise
"Love … exciting and new…come aboard … we're expecting you." A special themed "Love Boat" cruise is setting a course for adventure onboard Majestic Princess with the original ensemble cast, who will celebrate their friend and everyone's favorite cruise ship Captain Stubing with a tribute to Actor Gavin MacLeod. This seven-day cruise sails roundtrip from the Port of Los Angeles (San Pedro) to the Mexican Riviera, February 26-March 5, 2022.

Hosted by Princess Cruises Celebrations Ambassador Jill Whelan (Vicki Stubing), who will be joined by fellow "Love Boat" cast members Cynthia Lauren Tewes (Julie McCoy), Bernie Kopell (Doc), Fred Grandy (Gopher) and Ted Lange (Isaac). Together, they will share their favorite memories from the show, participate in various guest activities and celebrate the late Gavin MacLeod, who served as brand ambassador for Princess Cruises for more than 35 years until his passing in May 2021, at the age of 90.

The voyage will be underway on MacLeod's birthday – February 28 – and sails on the cruise line's signature Mexican Riviera itinerary that was prominently featured during the TV show's 10-year-run from 1977-1986, where Princess cruise ships served as the ocean-going co-star of the series. Guests will enjoy port visits to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.

"Reuniting with the cast for this very special themed 'Love Boat' cruise and celebrating the show's lasting impact with guests is sure to be nostalgic, fun and incredibly memorable," said Jill Whelan, Celebrations Ambassador for Princess Cruises. "While we always love to connect with fans this cruise will be extra special because we will also celebrate the life and career of Gavin, our fearless leader, who not only played my dad on TV but was also a true father figure to me beyond the show."

"Love Boat" themed cruise activities include:

• Festive sailaway party including the popular 1970s-inspired Love Boat Disco Deck Party returns exclusively for a "command performance" during this themed cruise.

• Renewal of vows ceremony, hosted by Whelan and the cast on the top-deck

• Q&A with the cast, sharing favorite memories of the show and MacLeod

• Birthday celebration honoring MacLeod

• "Love Boat" episodes airing on Movies Under the Stars and in staterooms

• Love Boat trivia with the Cruise Director

• Cast photo opportunities

• "Love Boat" themed menus and specialty cocktails

• Themed décor, photo backdrops and merchandise

Princess has been connected to "The Love Boat" beyond the setting of the show, reuniting the original cast members for two ship christenings – Dawn Princess (1997) and Regal Princess (2014), appearing on the cruise line's Rose Parade float and sailing on a throwback cruise in 2015 all celebrating the lines 50th anniversary. In May 2018, the six original cast members of "The Love Boat" and Princess Cruises received an honorary star plaque on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in recognition of their contributions to the history of television and support of the preservation of the Walk of Fame.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 23.07 + 4.77%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 88.28 + 3.97%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.68 - 2.86%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 27.07 + 4.44%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Here's another Photo Cruise Trivia - This picture was taken in 1975 in New York City. Can you name the five ships in the photo (...from bottom to top)?


Click Here for a larger version of the picture.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the first steam turbine powered vessel and where did she make her debut?

Answer - Turbinia was the first publicly sailed turbine vessel. She first appeared at the Fleet Review off Cowes, Isle of Wight courtesy of David Muñoz, Miami, FL.


Cruise News - October 25, 2021

Puerto Rico Welcomes Carnival Mardi Gras
Carnival Cruise Line's celebratory cruise following the christening of its new flagship Mardi Gras last Saturday made its first stop with a call in San Juan, Puerto Rico today. As part of the day's festivities, the reigning Miss Universe, Puerto Rico, Estefania Soto-Torres and the incoming Miss Universe, Puerto Rico, Michelle Colón welcomed some very special guests to their home island: Miss Universe Andrea Meza, Mardi Gras Godmother and Miss Universe, Dominican Republic, Kimberly Jiménez and Miss USA Asya Branch, as well as Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy.

Mardi Gras was christened during a "Universe of Fun" celebration on Oct. 23 in Port Canaveral, Fla. The celebration marked the first ship naming ceremony held in the U.S. since the cruise industry's restart this summer. Godmother Jiménez blessed the ship in both English and Spanish and activated the traditional champagne bottle break, officially naming the ship.

"We are thrilled to be back in Puerto Rico and allow our destinations to participate in the celebration of our new ship," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "And to be welcomed by the current and incoming Miss Universe, Puerto Rico has made it even more special."

Mardi Gras is the first cruise ship in the Americas to be powered by eco-friendly Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and features BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea. Guests can enjoy a host of entertainment experiences throughout the ship's 19 decks and six distinct themed zones, including the first shipboard version of the hit TV show Family Feud, and more than two dozen restaurants with venues from Guy Fieri, Emeril Lagasse, Rudi Sodamin and the line's Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O'Neal. Mardi Gras is sailing year-round from Port Canaveral, offering seven-day itineraries to the eastern and western Caribbean.

Carnival Cruise Line Christens Mardi Gras
Carnival Cruise Line today christened Mardi Gras at Port Canaveral, Fla. at a "Universe of Fun" celebration befitting of the world's most fun cruise ship, in the first ship naming ceremony held in the U.S. since the cruise industry's restart this summer.

Carnival's Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O'Neal attended the festivities and cut the ribbon of his first Big Chicken restaurant at sea that debuted on Mardi Gras when she began cruise operations on July 31.

Miss Universe, Dominican Republic, Kimberly Jimenez served as the ship's Godmother and officially named the ship and was joined by Miss Universe, Andrea Meza and Miss USA, Asya Branch who sang the national anthem. The event featured a "World of Nations" flag procession to highlight the diversity of the 120 nationalities of Carnival crew members, and, of course, a Mardi Gras parade with a Second Line Band.

"Today's naming ceremony of our flagship Mardi Gras, the first in the industry since our restart of operations, signifies excitement and optimism as we look to bring our entire fleet back into guest service by spring 2022," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "This ship has been amazing guests during her pre-inaugural season and the celebration today with our Chief Fun Officer Shaq, our Godmother Kimberly, and so many special guests, was extremely gratifying and emotional."

Following remarks by Duffy and Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald, Carnival friends and partners Romero Britto, Emeril Lagasse, Kathie Lee Gifford, Vanna White and Guy Fieri provided their congratulations on the ship's naming and helped bring the champagne bottle to the ship.

Godmother Jimenez blessed the ship in both English and her native Spanish and activated the traditional champagne bottle break, officially naming the ship. In a celebration of the ship's name, a special Mardi Gras parade with Duffy, Donald and O'Neal leading it, capped off the festivities.

Mardi Gras is the first cruise ship in the Americas to be powered by eco-friendly Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and the first to feature a roller coaster. The 180,000-ton ship boasts six distinct themed zones with a variety of food, beverage and entertainment options, including dining venues from Lagasse, Fieri, O'Neal and Rudi Sodamin. Mardi Gras sails weekly from Port Canaveral on alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises.

Disney Cruise Line Sets Sail on Streets of New York City
On Nov. 25, Disney Cruise Line's brand-new cruise ship float will embark on its maiden voyage in New York City as part of the 95th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The imaginatively designed "ship" has been christened "Magic Meets the Sea" and is inspired by the fantastical style of the Disney Wish, which sets sail in summer 2022.

"The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a treasured tradition at the heart of family holiday celebrations," said Sharon Siskie, senior vice president and general manager, Disney Cruise Line. "We are honored to collaborate with Macy's for this renowned event and build upon the shared legacy of creating magical memories year after year. Just like the Disney Wish, our float will be a celebration of enchanting Disney storytelling, beloved characters and wishes come true."

During its inaugural Parade voyage, the float will feature 15 favorite Disney friends who represent the stories and experiences on the Disney Wish, including Captain Minnie Mouse, who proudly adorns the ship's bow; Princess Tiana, who cooks up the power of imagination in an all-new interactive adventure aboard the ship; Aladdin and Jasmine, whose story has been reimagined into an original Broadway-style stage show on board; and Cinderella, whose beautiful bronze statue will grace the fairytale-inspired Grand Hall.

Showcasing the grandeur of a Disney Cruise Line vessel, the new float will feature iconic design elements including a Mickey Mouse-inspired color palette, towering red funnels and an intricate filigree motif along the hull.

"The entire Macy's Parade team is thrilled to welcome Disney Cruise Line to this year's outstanding Parade lineup," said Jordan Dabby, producer of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. "This magical float will enchant an audience of millions in New York City, and nationwide on television with Disney's signature brand of imagination and innovation."

More details about Disney Cruise Line's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade appearance will be announced at a later date.

Majestic Princess Celebrates Maiden Call at the Port of Los Angeles
Princess Cruises celebrated the arrival and return to service of Majestic Princess at the Port of Los Angeles today. Princess Cruises and the Port of Los Angeles highlighted the positive multi-dimensional impact cruising has on Los Angeles and surrounding communities. Every cruise ship visit infuses more than $1 million into the local economy.

“We’re pleased to welcome guests aboard Majestic Princess today and celebrate the ship’s maiden voyage from the West Coast,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “We have we been sailing out of Los Angeles since our cruise line first began in 1965, and our guests and crew are helping the City of Angels generate substantial revenue for local businesses with our West Coast cruises homeporting from here year over year.”

Princess Cruises, Los Angeles’ hometown cruise line and leader on the West Coast, sails more frequently than any other cruise line in this region, contributing $594 million to the Los Angeles economy in 2019. Over the past decade, Princess had more than 700 ship visits in Los Angeles—the most of any line. The cruise line is also known for its co-starring role on the hit TV series “The Love Boat” and frequently sailed with the beloved cast members and famous guests stars from the Port of Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera.

“Our popularity as a leading west coast cruise port is directly connected to the longstanding partnership we have had with Princess Cruises,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “The convenient and premium vacation experience that travelers enjoy on Majestic Princess and other Princess vessels have helped the Port of Los Angeles evolve into a year-around cruise port, and we are excited to be forecasting a record 200 sailings in 2022."

Majestic Princess just completed a partial summer season in Alaska and is scheduled to depart from the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro on 14 roundtrip departures through the end of the year. Cruise itineraries include the Mexican Riviera, California Coast and West Coast Getaways, ranging in length from three to 10 days.

Majestic Princess offers a MedallionClass vacation, delivering the ultimate in effortless, personalized cruising. It begins with OceanMedallion, a quarter-sized, wearable device that enables everything from touch-free boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever guests need, delivered directly to them, wherever they are on the ship.

Princess Cruises sailings onboard Majestic Princess from the Port of Los Angeles are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination. All fully vaccinated guests must also produce a negative, medically observed COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within two days of their embarkation on all Princess sailings.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 22.02 - 4.80%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 84.91 - 1.13%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.70 - 1.41%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 25.92 - 0.80%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the first steam turbine powered vessel and where did she make her debut?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former White Star liner retained her original White Star name (ending in -ic) and funnel colors well after the two lines merged in 1934 until she was retired in late 1960?

Answer - The White Star liner was the Britanic. courtesy of Rex Oberon, Dallas, TX.


Cruise News - October 18, 2021

Holland America Line Names Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands Godmother of Rotterdam
Holland America Line announced today that when Rotterdam is named next spring, Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands will be the ship's godmother, carrying on a tradition that began in the 1920s.

Holland America Line's connection to The House of Orange goes back nearly a century to Prince Hendrik launching Statendam III in 1929. Since then, members of the Dutch Royal Family have launched 11 more Holland America Line vessels throughout the years, including Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet who named Prinsendam (1972), Nieuw Amsterdam III (1983), Rotterdam VI (1997) and Oosterdam (2003).

"We are deeply grateful that Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet will once again act as godmother to a Holland America Line ship, carrying on a long tradition with the Royal Family that continues to honor our Dutch roots," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "Rotterdam will be named in Rotterdam next year, celebrating its namesake city and our historic connection with the Netherlands. We look forward to commemorating the occasion where it all started for Holland America Line."

Additional members of the Dutch Royal Family who are godmothers include Queen Máxima, who named Koningsdam in 2016 and Nieuw Amsterdam in 2010. Then-Queen Beatrix served as Eurodam's godmother in 2008. Rotterdam V was launched in 1958 by Queen Juliana. Then-Princess Beatrix named Statendam IV in 1957 and Prinses Margriet in 1960. Nieuw Amsterdam II was launched by Queen Wilhelmina in 1937.

Rotterdam's maiden cruise departs Oct. 20, 2021, from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and embarks on a 14-day transatlantic journey to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During its inaugural Caribbean season from November to April, Rotterdam will sail a variety of five- to 11-day itineraries that span the southern, western, eastern and tropical regions, all roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. In mid-April, the ship makes a 14-day Atlantic Ocean crossing back to Europe to spend the summer in Norway, the Baltic, British Isles and Iceland, all sailing roundtrip from Amsterdam.

Rotterdam was delivered by the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy July 30, 2021. The date for naming the ship in Rotterdam will be announced in the coming months.

Holland America Line's Rotterdam Departs on Maiden Voyage from Amsterdam
Holland America Line's Rotterdam departed today on its highly anticipated 14-day maiden voyage from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The cruise line celebrated the occasion with fanfare, cheering crew and a ribbon cutting to welcome guests on board the transatlantic cruise.

The 2,668-guest Rotterdam was delivered in July 2021 and is the third in the Pinnacle Class series for Holland America Line. Last week the ship arrived at its namesake city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where it was announced that Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands will be the ships godmother when it is officially named in the spring.

"Rotterdam's maiden voyage has been highly anticipated for months by our guests and team members eager to welcome them aboard," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "Rotterdam is a beautiful ship and the fourth in our fleet to begin cruising this year. We are excited to bring her to Florida and the Caribbean soon on her first sailing."

Following the transatlantic crossing, Rotterdam will spend from November through April on its inaugural Caribbean Season, with all sailings roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. The cruises range from six to 11 days and span the entire region on southern, eastern, western and tropical itineraries. Guests looking for a longer getaway can embark on a Collectors' Voyage — combined back-to-back itineraries that offer an in-depth exploration covering more than one area.

Every Caribbean cruise includes a call at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's award-winning private Bahamian island. This quaint sanctuary has evolved into a playground for cruise guests and features the finest beaches; two-story villas and private cabanas; delicious dining venues like Lobster Shack; and a variety of fun-filled tours for nature lovers, adventurous travelers and explorers.

Rotterdam has the highly successful amenities and innovations introduced with her sister ships, including the 270-degree surround screen World Stage, Rudi's Sel de Mer restaurant and Grand Dutch Café. The ship introduces the Half Moon Bar, an immersive experience looking at the history of Holland America Line and cruising through the lens of a cocktail.

Delivering the best of everything, Rotterdam celebrates live music with a collection of world-class performances each night — from Lincoln Center Stage and B.B. King's Blues Club to Rolling Stone Rock Room and Billboard Onboard.

Throughout the ship, Rotterdam showcases Holland America Line hallmarks that drive one of the highest repeat rates in the industry: exquisite cuisine guided by eight of the world's leading chefs; gracious, award-winning service; a museum-quality art collection valued at more than $4 million; and superbly appointed staterooms and suites, including family and single accommodations.

Rotterdam is the seventh ship to bear the name for Holland America Line.

Royal Caribbean Introduces Ultimate World Tour
Adventurers seeking to travel far and wide can now set off on a world tour of their own. Royal Caribbean International is raising the bar for world cruises with the debut of the inaugural Ultimate World Cruise, an epic 274-night adventure that visits all seven continents, more than 150 destinations in 65 countries and 11 great wonders of the world. This rich, immersive experience on Serenade of the Seas is the longest and most comprehensive world cruise out there, sailing roundtrip from Miami on Dec. 10, 2023 and through Sept. 10, 2024. Bookings for the full Ultimate World Cruise can be made by phone starting today, with an exclusive one-week window through Oct. 26 for Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society Diamond status members and above.

Guests can delve deep into many of the world's breathtaking wonders, from Peru's Machu Picchu to the Taj Mahal in India, and experience distinct cultures and picturesque shores at every corner of the world all in one spectacular adventure – only on Royal Caribbean.

"This is the world cruise of world cruises," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International "Now more than ever, people have resolved to travel the world and make up for lost time. Royal Caribbean is making that a reality with the ultimate vacation that welcomes those seeking adventure and exploration to taste, dance and dream with us around the world. To travelers asking themselves where they should go next, we say everywhere."

Guests ready to traverse the world can book the full Ultimate World Cruise today or choose from any of the four expeditions that will offer a wide range of destinations as soon as December 2021 – the Americas, Asia-Pacific, the Mediterranean and Northern Europe:

Round the Horn: Americas and Antarctica Expedition
Dec. 10, 2023 - Feb. 11, 2024 – Three continents, 36 destinations, four wonders

The once-in-a-lifetime journey begins in Miami, the cruise capital of the world, and sets course for postcard-perfect Caribbean destinations – like the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) – before heading to glacier-studded Antarctica and around Cape Horn. Travelers can take in four of the world's stunning wonders along the way in Central and South America, including Chichen Itza in Cozumel, Mexico; the largest art deco sculpture in the world, Christ the Redeemer, in Rio de Janeiro – where they'll celebrate New Year's Eve – and the largest waterfall system on the planet, Iguazu Falls near Buenos Aires, Argentina. One of the most iconic symbols of ancient Inca civilization and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu, awaits in Peru, while sunshine and glamour will welcome guests in Los Angeles.

Wonders of Asia and the Pacific Expedition
Feb. 11 - May 9, 2024 – Three continents, 40 destinations, three wonders

Guests will venture miles from the ordinary in Oceania, Asia and beyond on the cruise's next showstopping leg. They can discover the beauty and adventure throughout the Hawaiian Islands' world-renowned mountainous landscapes and black sand beaches before sailing south to Moorea and Tahiti, French Polynesia, for sapphire blue skies and crystal-clear waters. The thrills continue with an exploration of New Zealand, before a deep-dive into Australia's Great Barrier Reef – the only living thing on the planet that's visible from space. Pristine natural beauty in Bali, Indonesia, is soon followed by two of the most iconic manmade world wonders, the Great Wall of China and India's Taj Mahal, and gems of the South Pacific – from Vietnam to Malaysia. Rounding out the expedition are endless possibilities in Japan, with unparalleled culture in Tokyo, street food in Osaka and the tropical beaches of Okinawa.

Middle East Treasures and Marvels of the Med Expedition
May 9 - July 10, 2024 – Three continents, 44 destinations, four wonders

This expedition begins in glamorous Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and brings many of history's greatest mysteries, myths and legends to life. Adventurers can uncover ancient sites and more world wonders from the times of emperors and pharaohs, like Jordan's lost city of Petra, the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, Turkey, and the Colosseum in Rome. There are also less-traveled places to explore, such as Greece's Olympia, once a sanctuary site to honor Zeus and the location of the first Olympic games. The journey only continues to even more destinations known for their storied history — like Split, Croatia, and Cannes and Provence in France.

Capitals of Culture
July 10 - Sept. 10, 2024 – Three continents, 40 destinations

The final leg of the Ultimate World Cruise is an immersive, cultural experience that begins in the Mediterranean and heads north. At travelers' fingertips is the opportunity to discover Barcelona's brilliant architecture, including Antoni Gaudi's famed Sagrada Familia and whimsical Park Guell, and savor new flavors across continents — such as an indulgent lunch in a Parisian bistro and a dinner of tagine and mint tea in Morocco. Museums, theaters and galleries line the streets of St. Petersburg, Russia, while larger-than-life fjords await in Norway. Guests can reflect on their epic voyage in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon in Iceland before visiting New York on their way back to Miami. Globetrotters will explore the world in style on board Serenade, thanks to Royal Caribbean's award-winning experiences and amenities. And adventurers can stay close to the action with the ship's acres of glass, which offer panoramic views, as they cruise from one destination, continent and world wonder to the next. From start to finish, guests who book the full Ultimate World Cruise can expect a seamless, world-class travel experience that includes business class airfare, premium transportation as well as an evening of festivities and accommodations at a five-star hotel before setting sail. Plus, Crown & Anchor Society Platinum status members and above will receive a bonus Seven New World Wonders shore excursion package in addition to other perks, including a Deluxe Beverage package, VOOM Wi-Fi, laundry service and more.

Emerald Princess Debuts as Fifth Princess Ship to Return to Service
Princess Cruises today marked the return to service of the cruise line's third ship in the U.S. – Emerald Princess – departing from of the Port of Los Angeles on a 15-day Panama Canal cruise to Ft. Lauderdale. The very first Emerald Princess guests were welcomed onboard by the crew with a special ribbon cutting ceremony.

"Princess has been a part of so many special memories for us," said Chris and Kathleen Lennon of Monument, CO, the first Emerald Princess guests to board the cruise ship. "This is our 20th cruise and our third time onboard Emerald Princess, and the excitement we felt when we arrived today was overwhelming. It truly feels like coming home."

Emerald Princess is scheduled to arrive in Ft. Lauderdale on October 30, 2021 and will sail a series of 10-day Panama Canal cruises, roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale through December 2021.

Emerald Princess offers MedallionClass vacations, delivering the ultimate in effortless, personalized cruising. The Medallion is a quarter-sized, wearable device that enables everything from touch-free boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever guests need, delivered directly to them, wherever they are on the ship. It's been recognized as the most advanced wearable device in the global hospitality industry.

Princess Cruises sailings onboard Emerald Princess are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination. All fully vaccinated guests must also produce a negative, medically-observed COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within two days of their embarkation on all Princess sailings. Crew vaccinations are in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Captain Kate McCue To Take The Helm Of Celebrity Beyond
Exciting news today, as Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo announced Captain Kate McCue, the first American female cruise ship captain, will take the helm of Celebrity BeyondSM, the company's third ship in its industry-transforming Edge Series debuting in spring 2022.

The dynamic and decorated captain will usher in a new era for the new-luxury brand, sailing a ship brought to life by a dream team of modern lifestyle icons including multi-award-winning British designer Kelly Hoppen CBE; celebrated American designer Nate Berkus; the culinary gifts of Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud; and featuring wellness experiences and products from goop CEO and founder Gwyneth Paltrow, the brand's Well-Being Advisor.

For Captain Kate, the seed to be a captain was planted following a cruise the then-12-year-old McCue took with her family. She told her father that she wanted to be a cruise director when she grew up. His advice to her was that she could do anything she wanted, including captaining the ship.

Since that time Captain Kate has been a pioneer and trailblazer, breaking the gender barrier in 2015 when Lutoff-Perlo named her to be the first -- and still only -- American female to captain a major cruise ship - Celebrity Summit. She moved to Celebrity Equinox before being appointed to helm the exquisite Celebrity Edge in September 2019. On March 8, 2020, McCue further cemented her place in the history books when she captained the history-making, barrier-breaking sailing on Celebrity Edge that comprised a cruise ship's first-ever all-female bridge and officer team.

Captain Kate also led the Celebrity fleet – and the industry – back into operation when, on June 26, 2021, Celebrity Edge became the first cruise ship to sail with guests from a U.S. port in more than a year due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

"This is a day that I've been waiting for since we made the first cut of steel on our beautiful Celebrity Beyond. Captain Kate has transcended what it means to be a captain as a voice and example of inclusivity, diversity, and change," said Lutoff-Perlo. "She constantly thinks about how she can go above and beyond, mirroring the exceptional design and imagination of the ship she will captain. I'm beyond excited to see her take our guests to locations that will open their eyes to the beauty of the world around them and experience travel on a new-luxury ship without comparison."

Since taking on the mantle of captain, McCue has inspired others to shoot for the stars and encouraged people from all walks of life to follow their dreams. The endearing and charismatic McCue has also become a social media celebrity, amassing nearly 3.5 million followers across TikTok, Instagram and YouTube by humanizing the profile of captain and sharing behind the scenes looks at seafaring life. "To be the 'take out' captain for a new vessel is an honor for any captain and it is an absolute dream come true for me. I always say that if you see it, you can be it and I hope that Celebrity Beyond sails as an inspiration for all to see past convention in pursuit of any goal in life," said Captain Kate McCue. "I'm forever grateful to Lisa for entrusting this labor of love to me to captain. The thoughtfulness and imagination she put into this ship is only matched by her forward thinking to move the industry beyond what it is now and see what it should be." Celebrity Beyond will not only hold the title of the largest ship in the fleet, but the distinction as the brand's most luxurious vessel.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 23.13 - 3.14%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 85.88 - 1.66%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.71 + 20.34%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 26.13 - 0.42%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former White Star liner retained her original White Star name (ending in -ic) and funnel colors well after the two lines merged in 1934 until she was retired in late 1960?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the last pair of ocean liners to be built with an overhanging, counter stern (...such as on the Titanic and many other early twentieth century ocean liners).

Answer - The two ships in question were the beautiful American Export twins, the Independence and Constitution, the last ships of any flag to use the counter stern. courtesy of Rex Oberon, Dallas, TX.


Cruise News - October 11, 2021

Majestic Princess Maiden Call to San Francisco is First Cruise Ship Visit Since Global Industry Pause
Princess Cruises today celebrated its return to San Francisco with the maiden call of Majestic Princess, the first cruise ship to visit the City by the Bay since the industry global pause of operations. Guests onboard Majestic Princess experienced the iconic attractions of San Francisco during a port call on a seven-day Classic California Coast voyage, sailing roundtrip from Los Angeles.

Long-time partners from the Port of San Francisco welcomed Princess Cruises back, recognizing the beneficial financial impact to local businesses.

"Princess has a long history of visiting the iconic Port of San Francisco with our guests marveling at the bucket-list experience of sailing underneath the Golden Gate Bridge," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "Our guests remain eager to be back on board enjoying a safe and real vacation." v"The Port of San Francisco is excited to welcome back a safe return of Princess Cruises and all cruises to our renowned waterfront and city," said Elaine Forbes, Executive Director of the Port of San Francisco. "The city has worked with cruise lines to ensure all CDC guidelines have been met or exceeded. The return of cruise is an important milestone for San Francisco's economic recovery and will support our small and family-owned waterfront businesses."

Majestic Princess offers a MedallionClass vacation, delivering the ultimate in effortless, personalized cruising. It begins with OceanMedallion, a quarter-sized, wearable device that enables everything from touch-free boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever guests need, delivered directly to them, wherever they are on the ship.

Princess Cruises sailings onboard Majestic Princess are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination. All fully vaccinated guests must also produce a negative, medically observed COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within two days of their embarkation on all Princess sailings.

Azamara Unveils 2023 and 2024 Itineraries
Azamara cruise line unveiled 39 new itineraries this week across its four-ship fleet for 2023 and 2024. This latest deployment will take Azamara guests to every corner of the world, with each ship embarking in a different location: Azamara Pursuit in South Africa, Azamara Quest in South America, Azamara Journey in Australia and Asia, and Azamara OnwardSM in the Mediterranean and Caribbean regions. Azamara's winter voyages will also feature several new shore excursions, pre- and post- cruise land programs, and AzAmazing Evenings, all designed to bring guests deeper into the heart of each destination and spark a sense of wonder as travelers explore the unique culture of each city.

"With this itinerary release, we are thrilled to offer over 20 maiden ports, dock in smaller destinations that large ships can't access, and most exciting of all, for the first time we will have a ship in every corner of the world. In addition, this November we will be unveiling a new, highly requested offering from Azamara, which involves travel across the globe," says Carol Cabezas, President of Azamara. "From connecting with locals in the tiny village of Boca da Valeria, Brazil; to cycling on the 600-year-old Xian City Wall in China, our new voyages will offer endless opportunities to rediscover yourself through travel and connect to local people and cultures."

Exclusive to Azamara and offered during late-nights and overnights in port, the brand's signature AzAmazing Evenings are designed to connect guests to the local culture of a destination and are uniquely tailored to each location. Highlights of the AzAmazing Evenings include:

• The Living Past of the Amazon: In Manaus, Brazil, guests will discover the living past of the Amazon Rainforest. The four-part show entitled, "North Symmetry. The Glorifications of Nature in the Amazon," will take guests on a journey from pre-Columbian indigenous civilizations to modern times. Through native dances, rituals, and traditional folklore music, guests will be educated on some of the mysteries of Amazon culture.

• Traditional Korean Art Performances: In Busan, South Korea, watch as multiple traditional Korean art forms are combined to create a spectacular show. Enjoy NANTA, one of the most famous non-verbal performances in Korea, which combines Korean folk and modern music to create a unique yet familiar experience; Korean dance performed while wearing the traditional Hanbok; and Taekkyeon, a traditional Korean martial art that uses fluid, rhythmic movements to strike an opponent, all in one captivating performance.

• Italian Arias Performed by Società Filarmonia: In Ravenna, Italy, listen to brilliantly composed, classic arias made popular by internationally renowned opera singer Maria Callas. The arias will be directed by Alfredo Barchi and performed by Società Filarmonia, which was established in 1998 to bring together diverse musical experiences, skills, and emerging talents.

Azamara continues to reaffirm its commitment to Destination Immersion with a diverse selection of new shore excursions. Highlights from the new shore excursions include:

• Santarém, Brazil: In the city known as the "Pearl of Tapajós" for its location at the merging of the Tapajós and Amazon ricers, cruise through Maica Lake and enjoy stunning views of the Amazon Basin. Guests will spot local inhabitants, many species of birds, and possibly even the unique Amazon river mammal, a fresh water pink dolphin (Boto Cor-de-Rosa).

• Dakar, Senegal: Join some of the most well-known Senegalese chefs from the region's local culinary school for a cooking tutorial. Guests will learn how to make signature Senegalese dishes followed by a meet and greet with the head of the culinary school to discuss cooking tips and techniques. The afternoon will conclude with a delicious lunch and recipes to take home to cook Senegalese dishes.

• Tinos, Greece: Spend the afternoon with a renowned Greek chef for a food and wine pairing with island products, like local cheeses such as Tinos Graviera and the king of the cheeses, Kopanisti, a soft cheese with a distinct peppery-hot taste. Indulge in local wines made from Assyrtiko grapes for white wine and Mavrotragano for the red. Island-grown fruits and vegetables, such as sun-dried tomatoes, pears, artichokes, and capers, will also be enjoyed.

For travelers looking to explore the destination beyond their voyage and immerse themselves ever further, highlights of the pre- and-post-cruise land programs include:

• Stay Local in Hong Kong (two-night): Explore the dynamic city of Hong Kong, stopping at the famous Victoria Peak for panoramic views of Kowloon and the surrounding islands, the tranquil Nan Lian Garden – designed in the Tang Dynasty-style with hills, water features, trees, rocks, and wooden structures – and go to the top of the 100th floor of the tallest building in Hong Kong. Additional highlights include a traditional Dim Sum lunch, a visit to Wong Tai Sin Temple, where locals go to pray for good health, and shopping for art products in Stanley Market.

• Experience China's Treasures (four-night): From The Great Wall of China to charming local markets, journey through the ancient wonders and cultural riches of the region. Guests will explore the lakes, pavilions, and pagodas of the Summer Palace, known as the best-preserved royal garden in the world; learn how to make Chinese dumplings with the locals of Hutong, the oldest residential area in Beijing; and visit the Terracotta Army Museum, home to a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of China's first Emperor, who are buried with him to protect the emperor during his afterlife.

Viking Announces Newest Ocean Ship and Three New Itineraries
Viking today announced its newest ocean ship, Viking Saturn, will join the company's fleet in early 2023. The 930-guest sister ship will spend her maiden season sailing three new itineraries in Scandinavian and Nordic countries, including two 15-day journeys, Iconic Iceland, Greenland & Canada and Iceland & Norway's Arctic Explorer, and the 29-day Greenland, Iceland, Norway & Beyond voyage. In addition to the three new itineraries, Viking also announced today that the company will bring back the popular 8-day Iceland's Natural Beauty itinerary starting in August 2023.

"The thousands of guests who sailed our Welcome Back voyage in Iceland this past summer enjoyed the experience so much they provided record-level ratings," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "These new itineraries are ideal for curious travelers and trace routes of the early Viking explorers to Iceland and other North Atlantic destinations known for their natural beauty. We look forward to welcoming Viking Saturn to our fleet and to offering guests even more ways to explore this unique part of the world in comfort."

New and Returning 2023 Nordic Itineraries:

• Iconic Iceland, Greenland & Canada (NEW) – This 15-day itinerary spans Iceland, Greenland and the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. Sailing between New York City and Reykjavik, guests will admire the volcanic landscape of the Westman Islands, enjoy the relaxed pace of life in Djúpivogur, and stroll the streets of picturesque towns like Seydisfjördur and Akureyri.

• Iceland & Norway's Arctic Explorer (NEW) – On this 15-day journey, guests will discover life in the far north during a voyage across the Arctic Circle and along the distant shores of Norway and Iceland. After enjoying an overnight stay in Viking Saturn's home port of Bergen, follow the footsteps of Vikings as you visit Honningvåg's remote North Cape and explore Longyearbyen, which is home to more polar bears than people.

• Greenland, Iceland, Norway & Beyond (NEW) – Guests can also choose to combine these two new itineraries for an epic 29-day voyage. Departing from the former Hanseatic League city of Bergen, guests will trace the path of Vikings through the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Iceland and Greenland before making their way to Canada and concluding in New York.

• Iceland's Natural Beauty – Returning in 2023, this popular 8-day roundtrip journey from Reykjavik explores the majestic shores of Iceland. Sailing on Viking Star, guests will encounter unparalleled natural beauty, witness cascading waterfalls and pristine fjord landscapes. Follow in the footsteps of the intrepid explorer Leif Eriksson, observe the local wildlife and immerse yourself in nature.

Viking Saturn

Viking's ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, with 465 staterooms that can host 930 guests. Viking's award-winning ocean fleet includes Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Orion, Viking Jupiter and Viking Venus. Viking Mars and Viking Neptune will join the fleet in 2022; Viking Saturn will join in early 2023. Classified by Cruise Critic as "small ships," Viking's ocean fleet features modern Scandinavian design with elegant touches, intimate spaces and attention to detail. Highlights include:

• All Veranda Staterooms: Guests can choose from five stateroom categories, starting from 270 sq. ft. Veranda Staterooms, all with private verandas, sweeping views of the destination and premium amenities that include king-size beds with luxury linens, generously proportioned closets, large interactive flat-screen LCD TVs with movies-on-demand, free Wi-Fi and award-winning bathrooms with large showers, premium Freyja bath products and heated floors.

• Explorer Suites: The ships feature 14 Explorer Suites, which are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,163 sq. ft. With expansive views from wraparound private verandas, as well as the most amenities and privileges of any category on board, Explorer Suites offer the ultimate sanctuary for guests.

• Two Pool Choices: In addition to the Main Pool with a retractable roof permitting any-season swimming, the ships feature a first-of-its-kind glass-backed Infinity Pool cantilevered off the stern, allowing guests to swim surrounded by their destination.

• LivNordic Spa: In keeping with Viking's Nordic heritage, The Spa on board is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind—from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a Snow Grotto where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air.

• Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's: Share a cocktail with friends. Linger over a Norwegian breakfast and a nautical history book. The Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's gourmet deli are thoughtful spaces located at the bow of the ship and designed to represent the Scandinavian spirit for complete relaxation and for marveling at sweeping views through double-height windows.

• The Wintergarden: Guests looking for serenity will find it in the Wintergarden. In this elegant space under a canopy of Scandinavian trellised wood, guests can indulge in afternoon tea service.

• Dining Choices: Viking's ships offer eight dining options, all with no additional charge or fee—from fine dining in The Restaurant, which serves three full meals and a variety of culinary options, and the World Café, which features international fare and regional specialties including a sushi and seafood cold bar—to intimate alternative dining experiences at The Chef's Table, which offers a multi-course tasting menu with wine pairings, and Manfredi's, which features freshly prepared pastas and Italian favorites. The Pool Grill specializes in gourmet burgers, while afternoon tea and scones are available in the Wintergarden. Mamsen's serves Norwegian deli-style fare, and complimentary 24-hour room service allows all guests to enjoy many signature dishes in the comfort of their stateroom. Furthermore, with multiple choices for outdoor seating during meals, Viking's ocean ships offer the most al fresco dining at sea. Additionally, The Kitchen Table specializes in regional dishes from market to table.

• Cultural Enrichment: Viking experiences from ship to shore are designed for unparalleled access and cultural enrichment. Viking Resident Historians deliver high-level historical and cultural education specific to the journey, offering invaluable insight into the rich history of the destination. Guest Lecturers who are experts in their fields shed light on the destination's art, architecture, music, geopolitics, natural world and more. Destination Performances represent the most iconic cultural performing arts of the region—whether it be Italian opera or Portuguese fado. Resident Classical Musicians—pianists, guitarists, violinists and flautists—perform classical compositions throughout the ships. And Culinary Classes in The Kitchen Table, Viking's onboard cooking school, focus on regional cuisine.

• Nordic Inspiration: Even the smallest details take their inspiration from the exploratory spirit of the original Vikings, reflecting deeply held Nordic traditions. Light wood grains, touches of slate and teak, Swedish limestone and fragrant juniper appear throughout the public spaces and Spa. The Clinker-built design of the Viking Bar mirrors the construction style of the original Viking Longships. A Viking Heritage Center provides history and context from the Viking Age. And characters from Norse Mythology are subtly incorporated into the design, providing curious guests with inspiration to further explore Viking's Nordic heritage.

Disney Cruise Line Announces Return to Favorite Tropical Destinations in the Bahamas, Caribbean and Mexico
In early 2023, Disney Cruise Line will return to top tropical destinations in the Bahamas – including Disney's private island, Castaway Cay – as well as the Caribbean and the Mexican Riviera, delighting guests of all ages with one-of-a-kind vacations at sea. A variety of enchanting itineraries will set sail coast-to-coast from U.S. home ports including Miami and Port Canaveral, Florida; New Orleans; Galveston, Texas; and San Diego.

Vacations to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Florida

Disney Cruise Line will create even more fun in the sun like never before with an array of departures from the Sunshine State in early 2023, visiting tropical destinations throughout the Bahamas and Caribbean. Two ships will sail from Port Canaveral near Orlando, Florida, and a third ship will depart from Miami. Every cruise from Florida includes a visit to Disney's private island oasis, Castaway Cay.

Departing from Port Canaveral, the Disney Wish will sail into 2023 with three- and four-night voyages to Nassau, Bahamas and Castaway Cay. Cruises aboard Disney's newest ship combine enchanting new entertainment and storytelling, with the unparalleled service and magical moments that guests love when sailing with Disney.

Also from Port Canaveral, the Disney Fantasy will begin the year with seven-night sailings to several favorite destinations in the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Plus, one unique eight-night sailing includes two days in beautiful Bermuda, where guests can sunbathe on the island's pristine pink sand beaches, enjoy exhilarating water sports or explore the island's spectacular underground Crystal Caves.

From Miami, the Disney Dream will embark on an assortment of four- and five-night cruises to locales including Grand Cayman, Nassau, Castaway Cay and Cozumel, Mexico. Even more private island enjoyment is on deck with one special five-night cruise that includes two stops at Castaway Cay.

On all Florida departures, guests can delight in a voyage that provides something for every member of the family, combining the adventure and relaxation of tropical destinations, the ease and indulgence of an ocean cruise, and the world-class entertainment and service of a Disney vacation.

Tropical Escapes from Texas and New Orleans

In January and February, the Disney Magic will sail from Galveston, Texas, on a variety of four-, five-, six- and seven-night itineraries to the Bahamas and Western Caribbean. Tropical ports of call on these sailings include Grand Cayman as well as Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico.

In February and March, the Disney Magic is "going down the bayou" for the first time during a debut season in New Orleans. Departing from the heart of the The Big Easy, along the mighty Mississippi River, the four-, five- and six-night sailings will call on the tropical destinations of Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Before or after their Disney cruise, guests can venture into the Crescent City to savor the distinct flavors of famous New Orleans cuisine, revel in the sweet melodies of world-renowned jazz music and recognize the iconic sights and sounds that inspired the beloved animated film "The Princess and the Frog."

All early 2023 Disney Magic voyages include two or three days at sea to enjoy the unlimited fun, entertainment, relaxation and memories onboard.

Baja Peninsula Getaways from San Diego

The Disney Wonder will return to the West Coast, sailing from San Diego in April and May. Cruises to Baja, Mexico and the Mexican Riviera will transport guests to sunny shores filled with vibrant culture, glittering sand beaches, active outdoor adventures and exciting water activities.

Sailings from San Diego will range in length from three to seven nights. Some sailings to the Baja peninsula will call on the charming coastal city of Ensenada, known for its turquoise blue water and rugged mountainous terrain. Many departures will include a visit to Cabo San Lucas, a favorite destination with dramatic rock formations and white sand beaches.

Seven-night itineraries will sail to Mazatlan, the "Pearl of the Pacific," filled with breathtaking natural wonders, thriving culture and colorful history, and to Puerto Vallarta, the beautiful seaside escape nestled along the curve of the Banderas Bay and bordered by the stunning Sierra Madre mountains.

Silversea Launches Its First International TV Commercial
Silversea Cruises has launched its first international television commercial, inspiring curious travelers to rediscover the world. Part of an integrated, multi-channel advertising campaign that includes print, digital, and social media, the 30-second television spot will appear on major national television networks and streaming platforms in the U.S. and the U.K., before rolling out in markets around the world.

The TV commercial, conceived by Silversea's Global Creative Director José M. Vuolo, invites curious travelers to rediscover the world with a renewed passion. Silversea collaborator and world-renowned photographer Steve McCurry, whose photographic storytelling embodies guests' spirit of curiosity, features as the commercial's protagonist, appealing to viewers to embrace their desire to reconnect with the world's authentic beauty. From his suite aboard the ultra-luxury Silver Spirit, McCurry pens an open invitation, addressed "To the Curious," in which he writes: "To all of you who have been yearning to travel: It's time. The world is reopening. Open up to the world."

The television commercial focuses on journeys to discover the Earth's "most precious things," which "aren't things at all." Captivating photography expresses the beauty that can be found at "the edges of the world"—from mystical mountaintops in Bhutan and the frozen wonderlands of Antarctica to graceful wildlife and untouched ancient cultures. These are the types of places and natural treasures that curious travelers are eager to rediscover as the world reopens, and which Silversea unlocks with its celebrated blend of service excellence and luxurious comfort.

"Silversea is facing its greatest expansion ever," says Barbara Muckermann, Silversea's Chief Commercial Officer. "But this growth coincides with a very peculiar moment in the history of travel. The doors of the world were shut on us; now they're reopening and it's our responsibility as the leading ultra-luxury cruise line to reignite our guests' passion for discovery and let them know it's time to start exploring again safely, which is perhaps the greatest luxury of all right now. 'To the curious' is our mantra and our first international television campaign will appeal to curious travelers around the world. After all, our guests are travelers, not tourists; they collect interactions with people and experiences, not monuments. Curiosity is their common denominator, their driving force. Our television commercial enforces this concept with beautiful insights into the most remarkable destinations around the world. This is complemented by our print campaign, which showcases an especially breathtaking selection of images shot by Steve while he was traveling with us. These images are an invitation, almost, though there is hardly a need for one. People are ready to go."

José M. Vuolo, Silversea's Creative Director, says: "Our new 'To the Curious' campaign was designed to empower travelers to indulge their passion for travel with new eyes. A born storyteller with the soul of an explorer, Steve McCurry was the perfect subject for the commercial: Steve is a passionate traveler who is encouraged to seek out the world's most enriching moments – much the same as our guests. Steve's unique take on the world builds feelings of excitement and hope, marking a new beginning in travel. Steve's images are honest, captivating, and inspiring, but most importantly they convey the world in its most authentic form. In the same spirit, our new television commercial showcases the near-endless range of enriching experiences that our voyages unlock. With the reopening of the world, our guests have a renewed hunger to travel to new places, immerse themselves into new cultures, and experience new things."

Steve McCurry is a valued, long-term ambassador of Silversea Cruises. Since the launch of his creative collaboration with the cruise line in 2017, the award-winning photographer has undertaken more than 25 immersive journeys with Silversea, capturing more than 500 images of intriguing cultures, breathtaking landscapes, and unique moments around the globe.

"It felt great to be back on board a Silversea ship again, to film this commercial and to continue our close collaboration as the world reopens," says Steve McCurry. "My curiosity as a traveler encourages me to journey on; my travels with Silversea offer the chance to dive deep into the world, into the heart of fascinating cultures, wild landscapes, and warm-hearted communities. Silversea's television commercial will resonate with those who share my passion for discovery."

The winner of over 40 international awards, celebrated documentary maker Denis Delestrac directed and—in collaboration with ZETA SRL—co-produced Silversea's television commercial. In 2001, after having worked as a writer and a photographer in France and the U.S., Delestrac switched his career to documentary filmmaking in India, where he first met Steve McCurry – with whom he made his first short documentary. Delestrac has previously worked with Silversea and Steve McCurry on a variety of projects.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 23.88 - 5.80%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 87.32 - 4.11%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.59 - 9.23%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 26.24 - 4.48%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the last pair of ocean liners to be built with an overhanging, counter stern (...such as on the Titanic and many other early twentieth century ocean liners).

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which was the first cruise/passenger ship to have televisions in every passenger cabin?

Answer - Chandris Line's Anerikanis, built as the Kenya Castle for Union Castle Lines in 1952. courtesy of Robert Westerbrook, Los Angeles


Cruise News - October 4, 2021

Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady Hits The High Seas
Virgin Voyages today embarks on its first official sailing from PortMiami. More than seven years in the making, Virgin Voyages is marking its debut in style. Dubbed the MerMaiden voyage, Scarlet Lady will offer her Sailors an experience of a lifetime, full of surprise and delights, mermaid-forward experiences woven throughout the voyage, and of course, mermaids and mermen celebrating alongside guests.

On the heels of a successful preview season in the UK, Scarlet Lady arrives in Miami to offer consumers a new way to sail the high seas. Featuring a mix of four- and five-night Caribbean itineraries, the brand offers an unparalleled Virgin experience with a mega yacht-inspired boutique hotel at sea. This adult-only experience presents the perfect backdrop for the vacation everyone needs, with no reason to stay home.

Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, says, "For more than 50 years, Virgin companies have been bringing innovation to industries. Virgin Voyages is very much charting our own path, offering a fresh perspective on cruise travel with a mix of the familiar and a healthy dose of Virgin satisfaction."

Virgin Voyages five-star experience comes without compromise, leading with health and well-being at the forefront. On top of requiring full vaccinations for both Sailors and Crew, all guests will be tested for COVID-19 prior to boarding, a cost covered by the brand. The goal is to ensure the safest possible travel experience, which includes implementing best practices around sanitization, physical distancing, limited occupancy and following local government guidelines in each destination Virgin Voyages sail.

Tom McAlpin, President and CEO of Virgin Voyages, says, "After many years in the making, we are excited to officially launch Scarlet Lady and welcome Sailors in the U.S. aboard for an unforgettable experience. With Michelin-starred dining, incredible spa, phenomenal on-board entertainment and amazing crew, our promise is to deliver a sophisticated, yet relaxed, adult-only experience — free of formality, where ordinary becomes extraordinary. We call this 'Setting Sail the Virgin Way.'"

Virgin Voyages is bringing a sea of change to the cruise industry with a superior value proposition, giving its Sailors more for their money with all gratuities covered, free Wi-Fi, basic beverages and unlimited group fitness classes – all included in the voyage fare. Virgin Voyages unique offerings also include:

• Adult-by-Design, offering a sanctuary at sea for the 18+ traveler

• Relaxed-Luxe, the VV experience is sophisticated, yet approachable with nods of glamour that are perfectly primed for today's discerning, modern travelers

• Dining, Done Differently, 20+ eateries that foodies will love; restaurants that rival your favorites on land; Virgin Voyages bid ahoy to buffets and pre-set dining times, opting instead for endless, À la minute options. Something to suit every palate including menus from Michelin-starred chefs, the world's only Korean BBQ at sea, and a food hall with options ranging from noodles to diner classics for a late-night bite.

• Immersive Entertainment, with groundbreaking acts, original programming and small microplays developed by some of the world's most-talked about producers, directors and artists

• Shake for Champagne, through the Virgin Voyages Sailor App, Sailors can request Champagne anywhere on-board Scarlet Lady with a simple shake of their phone

• Vitamin Sea, innovative programming with well-being activated through a mix of high-energy moments coupled with relaxation and rejuvenation

Scarlet Lady's "Fire & Sunset Soirées," a four-night cruise, will stop in Nassau and then head to the Beach Club at Bimini, a signature waterfront experience in one of the most alluring Caribbean destinations. Sailors can get that sun-kissed glow and relax with restorative morning yoga classes or lounging by the pool in a private cabana, paired with sunset bonfires and DJ-led floatilla parties.

During her inaugural season, Scarlet Lady will sail a mix of Mexican and Caribbean voyages befitting of any curious traveler's tastes, with five-night "Riviera Maya" sailings to Cozumel/Playa Del Carmen; five-night "Mayan Sol" voyages to Costa Maya, Mexico, and five-night "Dominican Daze" voyages to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

With an impressive 1,330 cabins and 78 RockStar Quarters, 86 percent of the cabins on Scarlet Lady feature a balcony and 93 percent have an ocean view. Intelligent architecture is built into the dynamic design with additional highlights that include rainfall showers, ambient mood lighting and smart controls, adjusting automatically with the ship's geo-navigation system.

Virgin Voyages worked with a Creative Collective comprised of some of the most sought-after interior designers, artists and architects including Roman and Williams, Tom Dixon's Design Research Studio, Concrete Amsterdam, Softroom of London and more. Scarlet Lady's interiors were conceptualized by Ben Christie and David Azurdia from the multi-award-winning Magpie Studio in London. RWD from Beaulieu England, who are leaders in super yacht design, created the iconic red Virgin funnel of the vessel.

Carnival Victory Renamed Carnival Radiance
Carnival Cruise Line announced today that it has officially changed the name of Carnival Victory to Carnival Radiance, which is in the final stages of a $200 million bow-to-stern makeover in Cadiz, Spain.

The third in the line’s Sunshine-class series, Carnival Radiance is scheduled to depart Cadiz, Spain, on Oct. 18 starting a seven-week journey to her eventual homeport in Long Beach, Calif., with stops in Miami and a transit of the Panama Canal along the way.

On Dec. 13, Carnival Radiance makes her Southern California debut, kicking off a year-round schedule of three- and four-day cruises to Baja Mexico from the Long Beach Cruise Terminal. On this route, three-day cruises depart Fridays and visit Ensenada, Mexico, while four-day cruises sail on Mondays calling at Ensenada and Catalina Island.

Carnival Radiance features all of the line’s popular Fun Ship 2.0 dining, beverage and entertainment spaces as well as Big Chicken, a casual poolside restaurant created by Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal that debuted on Mardi Gras earlier this year. From new dining choices such as the Cucina del Capitano to expanded entertainment venues like the multi-purpose Liquid Lounge and one of the largest and most luxurious Cloud 9 Spas at sea, Carnival Radiance will offer an abundance of ways for guests to Choose Fun from the West Coast.

“The transformation of Carnival Victory has been in the works for quite some time but we’re delighted that she can now be officially be called Carnival Radiance — the newest member of our fleet,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Carnival Radiance features all of our most popular spaces and provides a truly unique and exciting vacation option for the Southern California short cruise market.”

A traditional naming ceremony will be held once Carnival Radiance arrives in Long Beach. Additional details will be announced in the near future.

Carnival Radiance joins Carnival Miracle which will reposition to Long Beach Sept. 27 to operate short cruises to Mexico, as well as Carnival Panorama sailing week-long voyages to the Mexican Riviera.

Azamara Makes its Return to South Africa this Winter
Azamara snnounced this week that it will return to South Africa this winter, as the country reopens international cruising in South African waters and ports. Azamara Pursuit will set sail from January to March 2022 with six back-to-back voyages – five of which are Country-Intensive itineraries – and will resume pre- and post-cruise land explorations with leading luxury safari operator, Micato Safaris, recently named the #1 World's Best Safari Outfitter by Travel+Leisure for an unprecedented 10th time.

"A trip to Africa is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, the kind of travel Azamara is known for, which is why I am so pleased to confirm our guests are now welcome back to South Africa following the reopening of its ports to international cruising," says Azamara President, Carol Cabezas. "Once again Micato Safaris will deliver unrivaled pre-and post-cruise land programs, as they share Azamara's love of travel, exploration and value of creating one-of-a-kind experiences for travelers."

"Together with Carol Cabezas and her team, we have crafted a series of unique custom programs which showcase the very best of Southern Africa for Azamara's discerning passengers," says Micato Managing Director, Dennis Pinto.

Highlights from Azamara's immersive pre- and post-land programs with Micato include:

Greater Kruger National Park Safari & Winelands (five nights pre-cruise, five nights post-cruise):
Azamara travelers will be introduced to two very different sides of South Africa – first exploring the Kapama Game Reserve, home to more that 40 mammal species, including Africa's Big Five: the lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo. Then, visit the Western Cape, blessed with the perfect climate for making world-class wines, to explore the country's wine region and sip local vintages from wineries like Vergelegen Estate followed by a gourmet meal from Tokara Restaurant.

Victoria Falls & Chobe Game Park Safari (five nights pre-cruise, five nights post-cruise):
Guests will travel through Zimbabwe to Botswana: Experience Victoria Falls - one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Then continue to Botswana to enjoy both dawn and evening game drives through Botswana's Chobe National Park to scout out wildlife like Cape buffalo, lions, elephants and more.

Azamara's voyages in South Africa will offer 16-late nights and 11-overnights throughout the winter season, as well as five dedicated Country Intensive itineraries, allowing guests to travel deeper and visit more ports in one country.

Highlights of the voyages include:

PerryGolf Sailing:
Azamara's South African voyages will also feature a 12-night Golf Voyage through its continued partnership with PerryGolf, the leading provider of international luxury golf vacations. Providing a seamless and truly integrated golf cruise program, the voyage will include five rounds, beginning with Humewood Golf Club, a true links course in Port Elizabeth which has hosted numerous PGA events, and is one of South Africa's top-rated gold clubs, and will stop for play at notable clubs along the coast, including East London, Zimbali, Durban Country Club and Pearl Valley.

Immersive Destination Programming:
On land, venture ashore on an Azamara shore excursion, operated by Abercrombie & Kent's cruise division, Akorn. Experience Thula Thula, one of the oldest private game reserves in KwaZulu-Natal. Join rangers aboard an open-top 4x4 vehicle for a drive through the African bushveld, while watching for elephants, rhinoceros, leopard, giraffes, zebras, buffalo, birds, and more. The day will end with a delicious buffet featuring local African cuisine.

On board, guests will be treated to a District Six themed Cabaret Show as part of Azamara's Destination Celebration – a new program that brings the culture and heritage of the destination to life onboard with health and safety in mind. The show – starring international award winner and recognized veteran of SA entertainment, Alistair Izobell, and special guest Sasha Lee Davids – will take guests on a journey into the heart of District Six for an evening designed not only to entertain but educate through the popular musical production inspired by the rich history of Cape Town's oppressive past that tried to destroy its vibrant community and spirit.

Viking Kicks Off Inaugural China Coastal Cruise From Shenzhen
Viking announced today the maiden voyage of Chinese-flagged ship "CM-Yidun" under a joint-venture with China Merchants Shekou. The ship sets sail from Shenzhen Shekou Port and will cruise to Sanya in Hainan before returning to Shenzhen on an 8-day itinerary, marking the first of a planned series of China Coastal Cultural Cruises.

"It is very exciting that we are able to launch a brand-new product and the first of its kind in China. We have always been about exploring the world in comfort, and now we offer our Chinese guests an opportunity to rediscover their own backyard in a new way – culturally enriching, in elegant comfort and with a unique touch of Nordic hospitality," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking.

He added "We believe cruising is a boom industry in China, and that Chinese consumers' demand for cruise travel will continue to grow and become more sophisticated. Our joint-venture partnership with the China Merchants Group will enable us to take advantage of this trend."

In the last five years since Viking entered the China market, it has gained a reputation for offering premium quality cruises with a cultural focus, and for providing thoughtful service that makes guests feel at home. Viking's European river cruises tailored for Chinese guests have won wide industry acclaim and guest loyalty. Under effective pandemic control measures, China has seen a strong rebound in domestic travel, making it the opportune time to launch a "small-ship" domestic cruise for a market that has to date only been exposed to mega-liners cruising to neighboring countries.

While the ship is Chinese-flagged, it features Viking's Nordic-style interiors, and the China Coastal Cultural Cruise experience retains many of the brand's signatures – including a well-curated library of books, enriching lectures, a spa featuring traditional Scandinavian bath rituals, shore excursions featuring several Privileged Access experiences, and original Viking dining concepts like the Mamsen's Norwegian deli, Manfredi's Italian Restaurant, and destination-focused cuisines.

"The experience that we set out to create is one built on what has made Viking a success around the world and popular with our Chinese guests. We then added locally relevant elements to complement it," said Wee-Hoon Tan, Vice President of Product Development & Marketing, the architect of this new product.

For example, since duty-free shopping is not possible on a domestic cruise, the ship's original cosmetic shop has been redesigned into "The Oriental Shop" – a place for guests to discover traditional Chinese crafts with innovative, modern twists. "We have however kept the Nordic Shop, which aims to let Chinese guests get acquainted with both established and niche quality brands reflecting Nordic heritage and culture. Over in our jewelry shop, we are proud to be hosting world-renowned Gübelin from Switzerland and presenting its first-ever retail outlet in China. We are also pleased to have Chow Tai Fook – a household brand in China, which is showcasing on our ship many of its jewelry collections not readily available onshore," said Tan.

Tan added that the ship's entertainment and enrichment content, as well as food and beverage experiences have also been localized. "To complement the Chinese tea experience on our ship, we have added guqin – a very elegant classical Chinese instrument, into our live music mix. Our main restaurant originally serving Western cuisine has been revamped into a modern-style Chinese restaurant, street-style Chinese grilled skewers have been added to our Pool Grill originally serving just burgers, Asian flavors have been blended into our afternoon tea at Wintergarden and feature in The Chef Table menus. Our Torshavn Armagnac bar has also been revamped into Bar 1872, which specializes in Chinese wines and spirits and serves a selection of signature cocktails inspired by the history of the China Merchants Group, which began in year 1872."

CM-Yidun also features one of the most comprehensive COVID-19 protocols in the industry, offering a Health Protection Plan designed to keep every guest and crew member safe throughout the journey. Guests will find many of the same innovative pandemic prevention features on other Viking ships on CM-Yidun, including the ultra-violet light disinfecting robots, face-recognition temperature scanners and more.

Updating the ship to prepare it for these new cruises took about 12 months. "We hope every guest onboard CM-Yidun will appreciate the details that went into the design of this product and continue to feel the same vibe that Viking has come to be known for in China – warm feeling of 'home,' a 'thinking person's cruise'," Tan concluded.

Singapore Welcomes Spectrum of the Seas in 2022
Holidaymakers will have much to celebrate when Royal Caribbean International brings Asia’s largest and most innovative ship, Spectrum of the Seas, to Singapore for the long-awaited comeback of cruising to destinations*. Travellers can look forward to spectacular 3- to 9-night sailings that will visit the best of Asia, starting October 21, 2022. Sailings are now open for bookings.

Built to deliver memorable vacation experiences, the first Quantum Ultra Class ship boasts the cruise line’s first private enclave for suite guests, innovative dining concepts, and stunning features and adventures – many of which have never been seen at sea.

“We are thrilled to introduce a whole spectrum of new adventures with Spectrum of the Seas, which features groundbreaking escapades exclusively designed for the Asian market, a testament to Royal Caribbean’s confidence in the potential of the cruising industry in the region. We have seen a surge in repeat cruisers, as well as a significant number of new to cruise guests, and look forward to bringing the best of the Royal Caribbean experience to our guests,” said Angie Stephen, vice president, Singapore, Royal Caribbean International. “At the same time, we are excited to extend Quantum’s ultimate ocean getaways once again through early next year to continue catering to the strong demand for sailings from Singapore.”

With more than 50 years delivering innovation at sea, Royal Caribbean introduced Spectrum as an Asian adventure full of feats and firsts. Guests on board Spectrum will savour an exotic array of Asian-inspired cuisine consisting of teppanyaki and hot pot-style dining, as well as an entertainment extravaganza touching on the cultures, colors, music and dance styles of China, Persia and India. Spectrum offers the perfect combination of high-tech experiences, providing adventure-loving guests a wealth of onboard adventures:

• Asia’s first Sky Pad, a virtual reality, bungee trampoline adventure where guests strap in and don a headset to transport themselves to another time and planet.

• Royal Caribbean’s first and exclusive Suite Enclave, which features the exquisite Royal Suite Class Star, Sky and Sea accommodations in a private area supremely positioned at the forward end of the ship. Guests booked in these luxury suites have exclusive floor access, an elevator, private restaurants, and a dedicated lounge area.

• Cutting-edge and transformative venues such as Two70. Boasting stunning 270-degree ocean views by day and transforming into a multidimensional theater by night, this transformative space flaunts six agile Roboscreens, breathtaking live performers and mind-bending aerialists to create unimaginable visuals. Meanwhile, SeaPlex, the largest indoor activity space at sea, features bumper cars, interactive gaming, laser tag, fencing, archery, and more.

• Star Moment, a lively and energetic karaoke venue where family and friends can belt out and sing like stars.

• Spacious and family friendly staterooms, ranging from exterior balcony staterooms to family friendly interconnected rooms, to the signature two-level Ultimate Family Suite, an expansive, multiroom retreat complete with its own ensuite slide and cinema, which also doubles as a karaoke stage.

• A bold lineup of signature activities, including the FlowRider surf simulator, the North Star, an all-glass capsule that ascends 300 feet above the ocean to deliver incomparable 360-degree views; and RipCord by iFly, the first sky diving experience at sea.

• Nineteen distinct dining options serve up flavors from around the world, including Hot Pot, an authentic Chinese dining experience; Teppanyaki, a celebration of authentic oriental flavors cooked in Japan’s traditional teppanyaki style; and Sichuan Red, a new specialty dining experience tailored just for Spectrum, where diners can savour a bold tapestry of authentic spices and Sichuan flavours. Signature classics include imaginative cuisine at Wonderland, top-notch, aged beef at Chops Grille, and authentic rustic fare and handmade pasta at Jamie’s Italian.

The global cruise operator continues to implement health and safety measures as needed, in line with its Royal Promise commitment. In addition to robust onboard ventilation systems, enhanced cleaning and sanitization as well as having its crew vaccinated, the cruise line will also require all guests to be fully vaccinated for all new bookings made from October 1, 2021, and onwards. The vaccine requirement is one of the many layers of measures that safeguard the well-being of guests, crew and the communities at each destination visited, and Royal Caribbean will continue to evaluate and update its measures as circumstances evolve with various government and health authorities.

“I extend my deepest gratitude to the Singapore Government for its collaboration and confidence in Royal Caribbean to deliver a safe cruising. As we continue to evaluate and implement public health recommendations from both our Healthy Sail Panel and the local government(s), we look forward to our guests being able to explore new destinations and enjoy the great guest experience they have loved on board Royal Caribbean,” said Stephen.

Meanwhile, guests can continue to enjoy an extended season of adventures on board Quantum with sailings through April 7, 2022. Guests who book their vacation on Quantum on or before October 31, 2021 can be assured of flexibility in their plans with Royal Caribbean’s Cruise with Confidence program, which allows for changes and cancellations up to 48 hours before the cruise sets sail. As long as holidaymakers cancel at least 48 hours before their sail date, they’ll receive a Future Cruise Credit. The credit is valid for future bookings on or before April 30, 2022, for sailings departing before December 31, 2022, or one year from the original sailing date, whichever is later

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 25.35 - 3.90%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 91.06 - 1.46%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.65 + 8.33%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 27.47 - 3.07%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which was the first cruise/passenger ship to have televisions in every passenger cabin?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the first new build for Carnival Cruise Lines and what year did she enter service?

Answer - It was the Tropicale from 1982! courtesy of Hans-Peter Lemcke-Braselman


Cruise News - September 27, 2021

Grand Princess First Ship to Set Sail from the Port of Los Angeles
Princess Cruises sails guests from the Port of Los Angeles this afternoon, marking the first cruise vacation departure from San Pedro since the cruise industry's pause in operations early last year. Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, visited Grand Princess to take part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially welcoming the first guests on board. Earlier in the week she visited the ship to thank the officers and crew for being the stars of the show harkening back to the cruise lines' history as the ocean-going co-start of the hit TV series "The Love Boat" and its recognition in 2018 by the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Princess Cruises, Los Angeles' hometown cruise line, has been sailing out of the Port of Los Angeles since 1965 and does so more frequently than any other cruise line. Over the past decade, Princess had more than 700 ship visits in Los Angeles—the most of any line in the last decade.

"It is a pride point for us that Grand Princess is returning to service in our hometown port. Our crew members are eager to welcome guests back on board as we continue resuming operations in the United States," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "We are grateful to the Port of Los Angeles for their support during the pause and are excited to be working together once again."

"Princess Cruises is a valued longtime partner, and we are excited to welcome Grand Princess back to Los Angeles for the first passenger cruise since March 2020," said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. "We are a full-service port – with cargo, marina, cruise and visitor-serving businesses -- and every cruise ship call generates more than $1 million dollars in local economic activity. That's especially important to the City and Port of Los Angeles right now."

Grand Princess departs on a 5-Day Cabo San Lucas Getaway, the first of five sailings with this itinerary and the first of 11 sailings from the port of Los Angeles in 2021. Grand Princess offers a MedallionClass vacation, offering the ultimate in effortless, personalized cruising. It begins with OceanMedallion, a quarter-sized, wearable device that enables everything from touch-free boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever guests need, delivered directly to them wherever they are on the ship.

Carnival UK Names Sture Myrmell as President
Carnival UK, whose P&O Cruises UK and Cunard cruise line brands are part of Carnival Corporation & plc, today announced Sture Myrmell as its new president, effective Oct. 18, transitioning from his role as president of P&O Cruises Australia and president of Carnival Australia.

Myrmell, who will be based in Southampton, England, will also serve temporarily as president of Cunard during the recruitment for that position. He will report directly to Josh Weinstein, chief operations officer for Carnival Corporation, who also has responsibility for Carnival UK.

In his new role, Myrmell will lead all performance and operational aspects of Carnival UK, the UK's largest cruise operator. In addition, as interim president of Cunard, he will directly oversee Cunard's operations and its three ships – including the world's only operating ocean liner, Queen Mary 2.

"Sture is a two-decade-plus veteran at our company, so we look forward to him bringing his deep experience, excellent leadership skills and proven track record of success to a new leadership opportunity," said Weinstein. "He will play a crucial role in our success in the UK, and we look forward to his contributions as we deliver to our guests the best holiday experiences in the world and as both brands launch new ships including LNG-powered Arvia for P&O Cruises in December 2022."

"I am honored to join the passionate and dedicated Carnival UK team that delivers extraordinary holiday experiences to our guests every day," Myrmell said. "Carnival UK has been at the forefront of the industry for decades, and I look forward to working with our shipboard and shoreside personnel to continue our leadership role in the industry, while providing great holidays for our P&O Cruises and Cunard guests."

With over 20 years of experience with Carnival Corporation, Myrmell has served in multiple positions across the Princess Cruises, Cunard, Seabourn and P&O Australia brands. In his new role with Carnival UK, Myrmell replaces Simon Palethorpe, who will be leaving the company at the end of November after six years for a new opportunity.

"Simon has been a true asset for the company these past years, and we wish him the best with this new opportunity," said Weinstein. "He successfully revitalized the Cunard brand and then ably stepped into the role of president of Carnival UK for the past 15 months, leading both P&O Cruises and Cunard back into guest operations this summer with the Carnival UK executive team."

Effective Jan. 10, 2022, global travel and tourism veteran Marguerite Fitzgerald, most recently serving as the lead for Boston Consulting Group's (BCG) global lodging and leisure practice, as well as its global strategy business, will assume Myrmell's prior position serving a dual role as president of P&O Cruises Australia and Carnival Australia. Fitzgerald, a global travel and tourism veteran bringing deep expertise in all aspects of cruise operations to Carnival Corporation, will be based in Sydney and report directly to Jan Swartz, group president, Holland America Group, who also has responsibility for Carnival Australia.

Carnival Corporation & plc Provides Third Quarter 2021 Business Update
Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald noted, "We are very glad to be back doing what we do best, delivering memorable vacation experiences for our guests, while doing so in a way that best serves the interests of public health. Our team members are executing exceptionally well on our return to service, exceeding the expectations of our guests and taking guest satisfaction to new heights. Even at this early stage with intentionally constrained occupancy levels, our voyages are already cash flow positive."

• Voyages for the third quarter of 2021 were cash flow positive and Carnival said that it expects this trend to continue.

• For the cruise segments, revenue per passenger cruise day ("PCD") for the third quarter of 2021 increased compared to a strong 2019, despite the current constraints on itinerary offerings, which did not include many of the destination rich itineraries offered in 2019. The increase was driven in part by exceptionally strong onboard and other revenue.

• Occupancy in the third quarter of 2021 was 54%, building consistently month-to-month from 39% in June to 59% in August.

• Available lower berth days ("ALBD") for the third quarter of 2021 were 3.8 million, which represents 17% of total fleet capacity. ALBDs are expected to be 10.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2021, which represents 47% of total fleet capacity.

Donald noted, "Beyond the enthusiasm of our guests and crew and the unprecedented net promoter scores, it is difficult to demonstrate just how successful our restart effort has been because many cruises, while generating positive cash flow, were limited to scenic cruises without ports of call, and generally priced well below the attractive destination rich cruises we normally offer. Carnival Cruise Line resumed operations in July offering Caribbean and Alaska sailings somewhat comparable to prior years and achieved 20% higher revenue per PCD than 2019 peak levels, despite onboard credits from cancelled cruises. Even with the unusually short booking window and capacity limitations, the brand achieved occupancy of approximately 70%, which speaks to the strong underlying demand for our core product."

Carnival said that it's monthly average cash burn rate for the third quarter of 2021 was $510 million, which was better than previous guidance and in line with the $500 million monthly average cash burn rate for the first half of 2021. The monthly average cash burn rate includes revenues earned on voyages, ongoing ship operating and administrative expenses, restart spend, working capital changes (excluding changes in customer deposits), interest expense and capital expenditures (net of export credit facilities), and excludes scheduled debt maturities as well as other cash collateral to be provided.

As the company continues its return to service, it expects to continue incurring incremental restart related spend, including the cost of returning ships to guest cruise operations, returning crew members to its ships and maintaining enhanced health and safety protocols. Carnival said that it expects the monthly average cash burn rate for the fourth quarter to be higher than the prior quarters of 2021, due to the timing of incremental restart expenditures.

The gradual resumption of the company's guest cruise operations continues to have a material impact on all aspects of its business, including the company's liquidity, financial position and results of operations. Carnival said that it expects a net loss on both a U.S. GAAP and adjusted basis for the quarter and year ending November 30, 2021.

Resumption of Guest Cruise Operations

Donald added, "Being the largest in our industry, it is not surprising that we are now successfully operating at a larger scale than anyone else in the industry. Our protocols have been working well and are enabling us to build occupancy levels as we return more ships to service. Looking forward, we continue to work towards resuming full guest cruise operations by next spring, in time for our important summer season, where we make the bulk of our operating profit."

As of August 31, 2021, eight of the company's nine brands have resumed guest cruise operations as part of its gradual return to service, with 35% of its capacity operating with guests on board. Carnival said that it has already announced plans to resume guest cruise operations with 50 ships, or 61% of its capacity, by November 30, 2021 and 71 ships, or 75% of its capacity, by June 2022, with more announcements forthcoming for the remaining ships. For more detailed information on the resumption of guest cruise operations, refer to the Ships in Service and Announced Restarts by Brand tables at the end of this release.

Consistent with its planned gradual resumption of guest cruise operations, the company continues to expect to have its full fleet back in operation in the spring of 2022. While Carnival said that it will benefit from the disposal of 19 smaller, less efficient ships since the beginning of the pause in guest cruise operations, Carnival said that it is forecasting its ship operating expenses, on a per ALBD basis, for 2022 to be higher than 2019. This is driven by a portion of its fleet being in pause status for part of the year, restart related expenses and the cost of maintaining enhanced health and safety protocols.

Carnival said that it has worked closely with health and medical experts globally and nationally, as well as with authorities in destination countries, to put in place comprehensive health and safety protocols for protection against and mitigation of COVID-19 across the entire cruise experience for all of the company's nine brands. This includes cross-industry learnings and best practices based on the proven health and safety record of industry-wide sailings, and input from top scientists and public health, epidemiological and policy experts. Protocols have been and will continue to be updated based on evolving scientific and medical knowledge related to mitigation strategies. Details about enhanced protocols, including the latest information and requirements for each of the company's brands, is available on their website.

Update on Bookings

Donald added, "Our booked position for the second half of 2022 is at a new historical high, including our seasonally strong third quarter with all our ships planned to be in operation, despite reduced marketing spending. The broader environment for travel, while choppy, has improved dramatically since last summer and we believe it should improve even further by next summer, if the current trend of vaccine roll outs and advancements in therapies continues. We have also opened bookings for further out cruises in 2023, with unprecedented early demand."

Booking volumes for all future cruises during the third quarter of 2021 were higher than booking volumes during the first quarter of 2021, albeit not as robust as the second quarter of 2021, primarily as a result of lower booking volumes in August 2021, reflecting the impact on overall U.S. consumer confidence resulting from heightened uncertainty around the COVID-19 Delta variant. Cumulative advanced bookings for the second half of 2022 are ahead of a very strong 2019 as of August 31, 2021. (Due to the gradual resumption in guest cruise operations, the company's current booking trends will be compared to booking trends for 2019 sailings.)

Total customer deposits increased $630 million to $3.1 billion as of August 31, 2021 from $2.5 billion as of May 31, 2021. For the second consecutive quarter since March 2020, Carnival said that it has continued to see an increase in customer deposits.

Seabourn Encore Now Returning In February 2022
Seabourn has announced Seabourn Encore will resume service earlier than anticipated starting on February 19, 2022, with a series of new 10- and 11-day itineraries to the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean roundtrip from Lisbon, Portugal, during the winter and spring of 2022. The ship, which was set to return on April 17, 2022, will become the third ship in Seabourn's fleet to return to service.

Seabourn Encore will explore and celebrate the beauty and culture of the Spanish archipelago, as well as the charming island of Madeira, between February and April 2022. In addition, the ship will sail on a 15-day voyage along the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea from Lisbon to Athens, Greece, where it will be positioned for its originally scheduled Eastern Mediterranean deployment in the summer. Guests in the spirit for a longer cruise to the Canary Is